02 April, New Delhi
In a strongly-worded reply to the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) allegations against the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) citing they are vulnerable to tamperability, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Sunday advised the former to introspect about its “unsatisfactory poll performance” in the assembly elections rather than attributing it to the alleged failure of the EVMs.
“It is for your party to introspect as to why your party could not perform as per your expectations and it is unfair on the part of your party to attribute unsatisfactory poll performance of your party to the alleged tamperability of EVMs. The Commission is fully satisfied with the tamper proof functioning of the ECI-EVMs,” the ECI said in the letter.
“In an extraordinary measure, the Commission invited those persons who had expressed reservations about the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) to come and demonstrate the points made in their allegations from 3rd to 8th August 2009. The outcome of this exercise is that none of the persons, who were given the opportunity and who had brought with them some technical experts, could actually demonstrate any tamperability of the ECI-EVMs. They either failed or chose not to demonstrate,” it added.
The letter further said that the Supreme Court had never cast any aspersion or expressed any doubt that election process was interdicted/rigged by use of EVMs. Hence, the Commission “strongly objects to this wrong and imaginary extrapolation of Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order. This may please be noted as a responsible political party.”
The letter added the Commission had put in place an elaborate administrative system of security measures and procedural checks-and-balances aimed at prevention of any possible misuse or procedural lapses. These safeguards were implemented by the ECI transparently with the active and documented involvement of political parties, candidates and their representatives at every stage to build their confidence on efficacy and reliability of EVMs.
The ECI also highlighted that the only alternative available to verify the data of votes cast, after declaration of results, was to file an Election Petition before the High Court concerned.
Earlier, after a dismal show in Punjab and Goa Assembly Elections 2017, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal alleged foul play in the EVMs.
The AAP then submitted a letter to the ECI, in which it stated that they had reached to the conclusion that there had been large-scale rigging through tampering of EVMs.
The Election Commission ordered a probe into the alleged EVM tampering issue after the Congress party complained that the VVPAT machine printed a BJP slip in a trial vote which was cast to the Samajwadi Party by pressing the party’s button ahead of the Ater by-polls in Madhya Pradesh.