Election Commission calls all-party meeting to clear air on EVMs

Election Commission calls all-party meeting to clear air on EVMs

The AAP on Thursday protested outside the Election Commission here and pushed for forming a committee of leaders and officials of the poll panel before which it can prove tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

During a day-long special sitting of the Delhi assembly yesterday, AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj put on a "live demonstration" of how EVMs can be programmed to favour any political party.

During his more than 40-minute live presentation, Saurabha Bhardwaj, an engineer with worldwide expereince, entered votes in the EVM and then demonstrated how votes cast for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) went to the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). The EC has rejected AAP's claims saying, the machine used by the party to demonstrate rigging, was a 'duplicate gadget'.

One demand that is sure to come up at the all-party meeting on Friday is that EVMs be done away with altogether, and only ballot papers be used in polls henceforth - something the AAP had called for before the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections.

Batting for the implementation of the Ballot Paper system for conducting elections, the Congress on Friday said the Election Commission of India (ECI) should reconsider its opinion about the same.

Asking the legislators to give a standing ovation to Bhardwaj's efforts of "proving EVM hacking", Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said this issue was brought to the Assembly because "it is about the country and democracy". "The Commission has stated before the political parties that all future elections will be mandatorily held with VVPAT", the CEC added. "The EC said that any "'look-alike" machine is just a different gadget, which is manifestly designed and made to function in a "tampered' manner and has no relevance, incidence or bearing on the Commission's EVMs". It is being said that after this meeting, Election Commission Hackathon (EVM Tempering) can be allowed.

"What they (AAP) used is a prototype..."

Though the light flashes against the button which is pressed by the voter, the vote may not necessarily go to that party, said Bhardwaj. "So, in 2013-14, the AAP showed a donation amount of Rs 50.64 crore in the affidavit, Rs 19.82 crore on its party website, but to the EC it told that the figure stood at only Rs 6 crore". The meeting was called after 13 political parties met EC raising questions on EVMs. EC sources on Tuesday too said an ECI-EVM is one which remains in the security zone of ECI.

He also filed three complaints with the CBI against Kejriwal, Jain and AAP leaders who allegedly misused party funds on foreign trips.



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