Berhampur (Odisha), January 14:
A 41-year-old man from Uttarakhand is on a countrywide ‘padayatra’ to seek a ban on Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and bring back ballot papers in elections.
Onkar Singh Dhillon, a real-estate businessman of Rudrapur in Uttarakhand was in Berhampur on Sunday evening as part of his ‘padayatra’ to create awareness against EVMs after travelling around 4,500-km on foot. He left this south Odisha city on Monday as he resumed his onward journey.
“EVMs should be banned. The parties in power might have manipulated the EVMs to come to power, which is not good for the country and its people,” said Dhillon.
In many countries, even in the developed ones EVMs are not used in elections, he said.
Dhillon, who is married and sports a beard, said he has never contested elections but he is apprehensive about manipulation of EVMs.
The 41-year-old said he had started his ‘padayatra’ from Rudrapur in Uttarakhand on August 18, last year. His aim is to culminate the ‘padayatra’ at Rajghat, New Delhi after travelling around 6,500-km in the last week of March or first week of April.
Dhillon claimed that he has already covered around 4,500-km before reaching here. He said he has covered some main towns of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
From Odisha, he would go to West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and then New Delhi.
He said people in most states, including Odisha were warm and listened to him at crowded places.
Dhillon has put his belongings in a cart which he pulls on the road. The cart has two national flags and posters on all sides to draw the attention of the people on the road.
Though he has covered around 4500-km on foot, his health condition is perfect. “I am quite fit. I walk around 35 to 40 km every day,” he added.