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EVM tempering row: All-party meet by Election Commission underway

The Aam Admi Party had earlier this week staged a demonstration on hacking a 'voting machine' in the Delhi Assembly.


EVM tempering row: All-party meet by Election Commission underway

New Delhi: In the wake of doubts repeatedly raised by many opposition parties on the reliability of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the Election Commission on Friday convened an all-party meeting.

The EC convened the meeting, being attended by seven national and 35 of the 48 state recognised political parties, to discuss the reliability of EVMs after leaders of a few political parties met Election Commission officials in April to convey their "complete loss of faith" in the EVMs and to demand use of VVPAT (voter-verified paper audit trail) and paper ballots in future polls.

During the much-awaited meeting, the Commission is also likely to brief the parties about its planned EVM hacking challenge. The date of the proposed challenge would be decided after the all-party meeting.

A detailed presentation on electronic voting machines' security features will be made by the EC top brass to prove that the machines are tamper-proof -- a fear raised by the opposition parties.

Some parties have demanded they be allowed access to the machines used in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.

Sixteen opposition parties had recently told the Commission that it should revert to the paper ballot system, claiming that the faith of the people has "eroded" in the machines.

Several parties, including AAP, BSP and Congress, had blamed tampered machines for the victory of BJP in the recently-held Assembly polls.

Disqualifying candidates named in a charge sheet for bribing voters, making electoral graft a non-bailable offence and easing of rules to order counting of votes through paper trail are some of the other issues Election Commission will discuss with political parties today.

Days before the proposed meet, the Aam Admi Party had staged a demonstration on hacking a 'voting machine' in the Delhi Assembly. The party had used an EMV prototype to make the demonstration.

The EC had trashed AAP's claim, saying the 'machine is a look-alike and not the ECI-EVM'.

On Thursday, the Aam Aadmi Party threw a fresh challenge before the poll panel and said that given a chance it could prove how voting machines used in the Assembly polls were pre-programmed to favour a particular party.

AAP lawmaker Saurabh Bharadwaj urged the Election Commission to form a panel of representatives of all political parties and experts from the poll panel to examine EVMs.

On Thursday, the Aam Aadmi Party threw a fresh challenge before the poll panel and said that given a chance it could prove how voting machines used in the Assembly polls were pre-programmed to favour a particular party.

AAP lawmaker Saurabh Bharadwaj urged the Election Commission to form a panel of representatives of all political parties and experts from the poll panel to examine EVMs.

(With Agency inputs)

From Zee News

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