The Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the Election Commission’s proposal of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines. For Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the Cabinet has so far cleared two tranches of Rs. 1,009 crore and Rs. 9,200 for the Election Commission to buy new voting machines.
Since June, 2014, the Commission has given at least 11 reminders to the government seeking funds for VVPAT machines. Last year, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi drawing his attention to the funds needed for the machines.
The Supreme Court has asked the Commission to give a tentative timeframe by which it can use VVPAT machines in all polling stations. The Bahujan Samaj Party, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress had attacked the Election Commission for allegedly using “tampered” EVMs. VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box but the voter cannot take it home.
The voters see voter-verifiable paper audit trail slip for seven seconds, which would be an acknowledgement receipt for the party they voted for in the election.
Slamming the Congress Party for having raised doubts over the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and conveying the same to the Election Commission of India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that this was only a way to justify the grand old party’s defeat.
In the meeting with Election Commission, a team of top opposition leaders put forward their demand before the poll panel of using ballot papers instead of EVMs in the upcoming elections in view of the alleged tampering.