New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said nearly 100 crore Indians will be eligible to vote in the Lok Sabha elections next year and asserted that the electronic voting machine has increased transparency and efficiency of the country’s electoral system.
Addressing the inaugural session of the ninth G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit (P20) here, he invited the delegates to visit India again next year to witness the “festival of democracy” (the next Lok Sabha elections due in 2024 summer).
He said the large voter turnout in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls shows people’s trust in the country’s parliamentary practices.
Over 67 percent of the 91 crore eligible voters had exercised their franchise in the last parliamentary polls.
He said the electoral process of the country has been modernized and now the electronic voting machine (EVM) has been in use for the past 25 years. The EVM has brought transparency and efficiency to the election process, adding that election results are now known within hours of the start of counting.
Several opposition parties such as Congress have questioned the credibility of the EVM. Some parties like the BSP have demanded a return to the ballot system. The Election Commission has defended the EVMs citing judicial pronouncements in its favour and the government has asserted that there is no going back to the ballot system.
Recalling that in the last Lok Sabha polls, people made his Bharatiya Janata Party victorious for the second time in a row, Modi said this was the world’s biggest electoral exercise with the total number of registered voters more than the population of the entire Europe. The 2019 election witnessed record participation of women, he informed the delegates.
Referring to the expanding canvas of political participation, the prime minister said more than 600 political parties participated in the last general election and one crore government employees worked for the conduct of the elections for which 10 lakh polling stations were set up.