Amid the controversy surrounding the electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the country, chief election officer (CEO) Nasim Zaidi on Friday evening confirmed that Voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines will be used in all future elections, reported news agency ANI. However, he added that an opportunity will be given to all parties to demonstrate whether EVMs in the recent elections were or can be tampered. “Will offer opportunity to parties to demonstrate EVMs in recent elections were tampered or EVMs can be tampered even with laid down safeguards,” he was quoted as saying by the agency.
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Earlier in the day, Zaidi had said a “challenge” is on the cards for the political parties alleging that EVMs can be tampered, reported news agency PTI. “Although use of VVPAT with EVMs will ensure total credibility and transparency and put to rest all controversy, the Commission will, after today’s meeting, hold a challenge,” he said. Zaidi added that EC has no favourites and it was equidistant from all parties. “You should be convinced that EC has no favourites…we maintain equidistance from all parties and groups. It is our constitutional and moral duty to stand dead centre of the circle drawn around us by 56 political parties (seven national and 49 state recognised parties),” he said. His remarks came after Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal questioned the independence of two Election Commissioners A K Joti and O P Rawat.
Yesterday, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia raised the issue in Lok Sabha saying that Election Commission should clear all doubts concerning the machine, including if the EVMs’ software is tamper-proof. “The doubts raised about the EVMs should be dispelled. Any issue putting a question mark on the democratic system should be dealt with all seriousness,” Scindia told reporters while replying to a question, as per a PTI report.