EC demonstrates EVM, VVPAT functioning; to hold hackathon on June 3
New Delhi: To brush aside the tampering allegations, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday exhibited the working method of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail System (VVPATs) and asserted that they cannot be rigged.
EC, however, has announced that it will conduct ‘hackathon’ challenge on June 3, in which all political parties will be given a chance to prove that the EVMs can be malfunctioned.
Rubbishing the EVM tampering allegations, BP Mishra, a technical officer of Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), demonstrated the working method of EVM and VVPAT.
"EVM tampering is not possible and the allegations of its malfunctioning are wrong," Mishra said to the media.
Another ECIL employee, Kharesh Yadav, also showed the procedure of EVM and VVPAT.
"The machines have a standalone printer. When any ballot button is pressed, a slip is generated carrying voter's and candidate's name," Yadav said.
Chief Election Commissioner Naseen Zaidi reiterated that all future elections will be conducted with VVPAT along with EVMs across polling stations, to ensure transparency.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), however, criticised EC for not conducting hackathon challenge as it had promised earlier. It may be mentioned that AAP has been claiming that EVMs were malfunctioned during the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls and Delhi civic body elections.
"We hope the Election Commission tells us today when they will accept our (hackathon) challenge," AAP leader and Delhi Minister Gopal Rai said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the other hand had claimed on Friday that the live demonstration of EVMs and VVPATs by EC 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 said.
He indirectly slammed AAP for creating huge ruckus against EVM hacking to hide their own mistakes which were the reasons behind their defeat in the recent elections and claimed that the EC's demo will remove their doubt.
Earlier in the week, the poll panel had claimed that it would give an opportunity to the political outfits to prove that EVMs used in the recent assembly elections were tampered with or can be rigged even with laid safeguards.
EC had also convened an all-party meet to hold discussion over issues like 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.