The Election Commission of India (ECI) will on Saturday hold a live demonstration of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail System (VVPATs) in Delhi. The decision comes days after the poll body had stated that it would offer an ‘opportunity’ to the political parties to prove that the machines used in the recent assembly polls were tampered with or can if the machines can be tampered even with when it is safeguarded.
The Election Commission will also hold a press conference on the “EVM Challenge”. The EC had recently held an all-party meeting over allegations of EVM tampering and also on the growing demand of electoral reforms. The EC has however, at all times, maintained that the EVMs used in all elections cannot be tampered with or manipulated.
Sixteen opposition parties had approached the Election Commission urging the poll body to the paper ballot system. The parties have been claiming that the alleged tampering has created a trust deficit in the credibility of the EVMs.
Meanwhile, the Union Cabinet had also agreed to sanction funds of nearly Rs 3,200 crore to get more than 16 lakh VVPATs as sought by the Election Commission.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been leading the charge in claiming that the EVMs used in the elections were rigged by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP had recently won the Uttar Pradesh and the Uttarakhand elections with a thumping majority. The party was also way ahead of its competitors in the municipal elections in Delhi.
In a special session of the Delhi Assembly, AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj had given a live demonstration on how EVMs can be “tampered with”. Dismissing the demonstration, the EC had said that the EVM used by AAP in the assembly was a ‘look-alike’ and not the one that is used in the elections.