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EVMs foolproof, no plan to scrap them, says poll panel

chandigarh Updated: Jul 17, 2009 18:51 IST

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) has no plans to scrap the electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the country, Election Commissioner SY Quraishi said in Chandigarh on Friday.

"The EVMs used in India are foolproof. We (the ECI) are not thinking of scrapping the EVMs. There is no such planning," Quraishi told media here after reviewing election preparations in Haryana for next year's assembly polls.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani and others had recently sought that the use of EVMs be stopped and that the Election Commission revert to the old method of getting votes cast on ballot papers.

The BJP leaders alleged the EVMs could be tampered with, and had cited the case of Germany where the EVMs were scrapped.

"It took us 25 years to develop these EVMs in Chandigarh. These are foolproof unlike the ones in Germany where a new card could be inserted within five minutes," Quraishi said.

The election commissioner said that though some European countries, including Germany, were reverting to ballot papers for elections, they will come to see the EVMs developed in India one day.

"There are several committees, including those of IIT (Indian Institutes of Technology) professors, which verify the EVMs here. We are totally satisfied with the performance of EVMs. They are tamper proof," he added.

Quraishi said that the EVMs were first used in India in the 2004 general elections.

"There have been one Supreme Court and four high court judgments in the favour of EVMs. Our EVMs are adding machines with a unique software. We can only add. We cannot manipulate them," he said.

The BJP, which was hoping to capture power at the centre in the May 2009 general elections, fared badly at the polls and got less than 120 seats in the Lok Sabha. The Congress, which led the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition at the centre between 2004-2009, returned to power with an improved performance, winning over 200 Lok Sabha seats.