NEW DELHI: Days, after another controversy broke out over electronic voting machines (EVMs), Chief Election commissioner Sunil Arora on Thursday, said that polling agency cannot be intimidated, coerced or pressurized into going back to using ballot papers during elections in the country.
Speaking at a conference titled ‘Making Our Elections Inclusive’, Arora listed the drawbacks of using ballot paper. “In the ballot paper era there used to be innumerable complaints about impersonation and booth capturing by anti-social elements and musclemen. Besides, there would be inordinate delays in declaring results which sometimes spread from three to four days.”
He denounced the recent allegations of the machines being ‘tamperable’ as said they are being dragged into a slugfest unnecessarily.
“EVMs have been in use for the last two decades. Even in several elections since 2014, the machines have given different results in different elections.”
This is the first time the CEC reacted days after a self-proclaimed US-based cyber expert made a sensational claim that the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were rigged through the EVMs.
Alleged expert Syed Shuja had claimed in London on Monday that the 2014 general polls and assembly elections of various states were rigged through EVM hacking.
Following the claim, several political parties including the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had demanded that the upcoming Lok Sabha polls be held using ballot papers instead of EVMs.
Arora remarked that even in the recent Assembly elections held in five states, out of a total of 176,000 Polling Booths where EVMs were used, there were only six incidents of violation, and that too in reserve EVMS.
“Although the ratio is negligible, even in these cases, stringent disciplinary action was taken,” he reiterated.