The Election Commission on Saturday said there is “no merit” to the Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) complaints over the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) possibly being tampered with in Uttar Pradesh.
Soon after the BJP’s landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh, where it romped home with three-fourths of the 403 seats, the BSP supremo Mayawati dismissed the poll outcome and called for a fresh election.
However, the commission wrote to BSP’s national general secretary Satish Misra saying it found no merit in the allegations, and the “prayers made in your letter are not legally tenable”.
“The safeguards are implemented transparently with the involvement of political parties, candidates and their representatives at every stage to build their confidence on efficacy and reliability of EVMs. The prescribed administrative process has been fully complied with in UP and Uttarakhand,” the EC wrote.
Mayawati, a former CM of the state who was expected to grab a substantial share of the votes, blamed her party’s loss on EVM tampering and shot off a complaint to the poll panel.
While she called for the voting machines to be examined by technical experts from “a foreign country” and to withdraw their use in future elections, the Commission defended the use of EVMs.
“Various preventive and precautionary measures have been put in place by the Commission for the operation, maintenance and storage of the EVMs,” the panel wrote, going on to say that the EC has “firm conviction and complete satisfaction that EVMs cannot be tampered with”.
The Commission also ruled out returning to the ballot system, pointing out that the introduction of the EVMs helped prevent several electoral malpractices and resulted in more efficient conduct of elections.
“The courts have upheld the use of EVMs…they are mechanically and electronically protected to prevent any tampering,” the BSP was told.