The Election Commission of India (ECI) today demonstrated the working of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail System (VVPATs), while brushing aside the EVM tampering allegation. Asserting that EVM tampering is a wrong allegation, B.P. Mishra, a technical officer of Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), demonstrated as how the EVM and VVPAT work.
“EVM tampering is not possible and the allegations of its malfunctioning are wrong,” Mishra told ANI. ECIL employee Kharesh Yadav also demonstrated the procedure of EVM and VVPAT.“These machines have a standalone printer. When any ballot button is pressed, a slip is generated carrying voter’s and candidate’s name,” Yadav told ANI.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) yesterday said that the live demo of EVMs and VVPATs by the ECI will ensure credibility and the authenticity of the voting machine will be retained. “It is Election Commission’s duty to convince every citizens and every political party about the credibility of the EVM. It is between the election commission and the parties who are crying foul needlessly. I am sure that the Election Commission will ensure credibility and the authenticity of the EVMs will be retained,” BJP leader S. Prakash told ANI.
He said that certain parties were creating huge ruckus against EVM hacking to cover up their own lapses in winning over the mandate of the people and the Election Commission’s demo will remove their doubt. While earlier in the week, the poll panel had said it would offer an ‘opportunity’ to the political parties to prove that EVMs used in the recently held assembly polls were tampered with or can be tampered even with laid down safeguards.
The ECI also convened an all-party meeting over the issue of EVM and other electoral reforms. In its communication to the presidents of all the seven national and 48 state political parties, the poll panel sent a status paper on EVMs and VVPAT.Last month, sixteen opposition parties had urged the Election Commission to revert to the paper ballot system saying that the alleged tampering has created trust deficit in the credibility of the EVMs. However, the poll body has been maintaining that EVMs are tamper proof and cannot be manipulated.
The Union Cabinet had given its nod to sanctioned funds of nearly Rs. 3,200 crore to procure more than 16 lakh VVPATs as sought by the Election Commission. Besides EVMs, the meeting is expected to deliberate on making bribery in elections a cognisable offence, disqualification on framing of charges for the offences of bribery in elections and suggestions in VVPAT recount Rules.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), during a special session of the Delhi assembly, had conducted a live demonstration on how EVMs can be tampered with. Reacting to the demonstration, the poll panel said the machine used to conduct live demonstration was a ‘look-alike” which was made to function in a ‘tampered’ manner.