'Let EVMs rest...to be abused in next elections': CEC Rajiv Kumar on tampering accusations | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

'Let EVMs rest...to be abused in next elections': CEC Rajiv Kumar on tampering accusations

Jun 07, 2024 07:43 AM IST

Lok Sabha polls 2024: CEC Rajiv Kumar said perhaps the EVM was born at a time when it had to be accused and criticised regularly. "But it is very reliable".

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Thursday took a dig at those raising questions on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) saying the EVMs should be left to rest until the next elections as they are to be readied to be abused again in the upcoming polls.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar(PIB)
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar(PIB)

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Addressing the media on the allegations of EVM tampering, Rajiv Kumar said for the past 20-22 elections, a similar tradition has been followed where EVMs were accused of being tampered with, and their credibility was always questioned. But in the end, they have always shown the results.

"The results of EVM are in front of everyone. Why to accuse that poor fellow? Let it rest for a few days. Let EVM rest till the next election. Then it will come out, then its battery will be changed, then its papers will be changed. Then it will get abused again, but will deliver good results. It has been showing similar results since the last 20-22 elections, the government keeps changing," news agency ANI quoted Rajib Kumar as saying.

The poll body chief also said that perhaps the EVM was born at a time when it had to be accused and criticised regularly. But it is very reliable; it has become neutral in every way and does its work," he added.

The opposition has been at loggerheads with the Election Commission over the credibility of the EVMs. The Supreme Court had earlier refused to entertain a petition regarding the conduct of elections using ballot paper by setting aside Section 61A of The Representation of the People Act, 1951, saying that more than 10 cases have been examined on various issues related to the functioning of EVMs by the court time and again.

Meanwhile, the CEC, along with Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and S S Sandhu, presented the notification constituting the 18th Lok Sabha and the list of newly elected parliamentarians to President Droupadi Murmu at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

"A copy of the notification issued by the Election Commission of India, in terms of Section 73 of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, containing the names of the members elected to the House of the People following the General Elections to the 18th Lok Sabha, was submitted by them to the President," it said.

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President Murmu congratulated the Election Commission on the successful completion of the electoral process, the largest democratic exercise in the world. "On behalf of the entire country, she appreciated the efforts of the Election Commission, its officials and members of staff, other public officials who were involved in management and superintendence of the campaign and polling, and police and security personnel, Central and State, for working tirelessly and diligently to uphold the sanctity of the people’s ballot and successfully completing a free and fair election," it said.

The poll body has also dedicated the "violence-free" Lok Sabha polls to Mahatma Gandhi and asserted that it rebuffed attempts to vitiate the electoral process with "rumours and baseless doubts" that could have fomented unrest across the country.

CEC Kumar along with Gyanesh Kumar and S S Sandhu visited the Raj Ghat, the Mahatma Gandhi's memorial. CEC had pledged that the EC's service to the nation, now in its 76th year, will go on with "unflinching" dedication.

He said the Commission ensured that the world's largest electoral contest created democratic surpluses; and that violence of any form was not allowed to cast even the smallest shadow in the intense activity involving crores of people.

President Murmu had on Wednesday dissolved the 17th Lok Sabha. The term of the current Lok Sabha ends on June 16 and before that, a new government has to be established.

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Lok Sabha elections 2024 results:

According to the Election Commission of India, the BJP won 240 seats, significantly lower than its 2019 tally of 303. The Congress made substantial gains, winning 99 seats. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) secured 293 seats, while the INDIA bloc crossed the 230 mark, posing stiff competition and defying predictions.

(With inputs from agencies)

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