EC issuing political statement on EVM tampering: AAP

Miranda GreerApr 03, 2017

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) submitted a letter to the Election Commission of India and complained about the alleged Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) tampering in Punjab Assembly Elections 2017.

The Congress party leaders have also said that they would approach the Election Commission for an inquiry.

Responding to the Congress complaint, the Election Commission said that it has made a decision to depute a team led by Bhanwar Lal, CEO of Andhra Pradesh to supervise by-elections in Madhya Pradesh.

Party chief and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had urged the EC on Saturday to investigate cases of "faulty" EVMs and ascertain if their software can be tweaked "in favour of the BJP". He also reiterated the demand for use of traditional method of ballot papers in all future elections till the time the doubts about EVMs are not cleared.

Earlier the Samjawadi Party chief had backed Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati's claim that the EVMs during the Uttar Pradesh electoral process were tampered and also called for the probe.

However, the Election Commission, in a strongly-worded reply to the AAP's allegations advised the party to introspect about its "unsatisfactory poll performance" in the assembly elections rather than attributing it to the alleged failure of the EVMs.

Following its electoral debacle in Punjab, AAP had raised allegations that the EVM's can be tampered with.

The commission source said that if the district magistrate and police chief are removed at all, it would be because the "Congress has complained they are not neutral" and because their files, now being examined, have thrown up some reason to do so.

Deputy Commissioner and District Election Officer D Randeep on Saturday, said the "test vote" will be carried out if the ballot slip fails to match the choice of vote between Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system and Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), when verified.

"The Commission strongly objects to this wrong and imaginary extrapolation of (the) Supreme Court's order. Thus, the ECI-EVMs are fundamentally different from the voting machines and processes adopted in various foreign countries", it said. "This may please be noted as a responsible political party".

The poll panel said it has put in place an elaborate technical and administrative system of safeguards to ensure error-free functioning of the EVMs in elections.

"Before every election, demonstration exercise of EVMs are conducted in presence of political parties' representatives".

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