Election Commission defends EVMs, Congress leader calls them ‘threat to democracy’
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Election Commission defends EVMs, Congress leader calls them ‘threat to democracy’

The Election Commission refuted allegations that the electronic voting machines used in Gujarat were rigged as the electron results being declared indicated a BJP victory

india Updated: Dec 18, 2017 15:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Gujarat election results,Election Commission,electronic voting machines
Live results are projected on a screen as election officials hold electronic voting machines at a poll counting center in Dharmsala.(AP)

Electronic voting machines (EVM) cannot be tampered with and questioning their fairness “isn’t right,” said the Election Commission on Monday as a Congress leader called them a “big threat to Indian democracy”.

“Questions being raised about EVMs have already been answered by us in the media. VVPATs were there in every polling stations in Gujarat, which enabled voters to see whom they voted for, so issues being raised aren’t right. I assure that EVMs cannot be tampered with,” Achal Kumar Joti, chief election commissioner, told news agency ANI as officials began counting votes for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections.

VVPAT machines (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) are used during elections to verify that the vote polled by a voter goes to the correct candidate. Joti was commenting on allegations by the Congress and other opposition parties that EVMs used in Gujarat cannot be trusted.

Sanjay Nirupam, president of the Congress party’s Mumbai unit, said credit for the BJP’s victory in Gujarat should go to EVMs. “We suspected this right from the beginning. All beware, this is a big threat to Indian democracy,” Nirupam tweeted.

Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who supported the Congress in the Gujarat elections, alleged EVMs can be hacked. “It would make people laugh but no one will consider what I say. If the human body, which has been created by god, can be fiddled with, why cannot EVMs? If ATMs can be hacked, why not EVMs?” he tweeted .

Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia alleged during the first phase of Gujarat elections that all EVMs had been connected through Bluetooth to three mobile phones.

Naveen Chawla, a former Chief Election Commissioner, rejected such allegations and said that political parties or candidates blame EVMs when they lose elections.

“I have observed that when a political party or a candidate loses, they tend to blame the machine and I think that’s unfair,” Chawla told ANI.

“We must have faith in the EC (Election Commission) and also in the courts as all of them have examined different aspects of EVM as well,” he said.

First Published: Dec 18, 2017 12:27 IST