NEW DELHI: Amid the row surrounding the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) election, the Election Commission said it is not responsible for any local body polls and asserted complaints of alleged tampering of EVMs have generated wrong perception about the voting machines.
“We would like to clarify once again that the EC is not responsible for the conduct of local body elections (municipalities, panchayats etc.) that are conducted by the State Election Commissions and elections held by various organizations in the country and consequently about various protocols and procedures adopted by them,” it said in a statement.
On Thursday, the DUSU poll counting was stopped for an hour after allegations of faulty EVMs. The office of the Chief Electoral Officer had said the EVMs used in the DUSU election have not been issued by the Commission and it seems to have been procured privately.
Until last year, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) were allowed by the Commission to supply EVMs to state election commissions and other organizations. After May 2017, BEL and ECIL were directed to seek the Commission’s prior approval and supply only EVMs that are different from ECI-EVMs to SECs or to other foreign countries — that too only after the current ordered quantities are fully supplied. The poll panel added that old EVMs are destroyed as per its strict protocol.
Officials said that the Commission uses only single-post EVMs (i.e. vote can be cast only for one post). In the DUSU elections, multi-post EVMs (i.e. vote can be cast for more than one post) were used. An ECIL official said the EVMs used in Delhi University might be purchased many years ago when approval was not required.
Kejriwal questions EC on EVMs
NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal questioned the Commission over the privately sourced EVMs used in the students’ body polls. “From where can you procure EVMs privately? Doesn’t ECI claim that no one can manufacture or buy or sell EVMs privately? Isn’t anyone found in possession of EVMs without EC’s permission guilty of the criminal offence?” he tweeted on Friday.