MPs demand EVM tampering issue be looked into

Several MPs on Thursday said the issue of alleged tampering of the voting machines should be looked into thoroughly and an all-party meeting be called to discuss the issue.

Last Updated: Aug 26, 2010, 15:35 PM IST

New Delhi: In the backdrop of the arrest
of a man who raised doubts about EVMs, several MPs on Thursday said
the issue of alleged tampering of the voting machines should
be looked into thoroughly and an all-party meeting be called
to discuss the issue.

BJP has maintained that EVMs used in India were not
tamper-proof and a paper back-up should be used during
elections. The party`s top brass, including L K Advani and
Nitin Gadkari, have expressed doubts about the authenticity of
these machines.

"A computer readjustment of the programme (in an EVM)
and we will be sitting in the opposition forever," BJP MP
Maneka Gandhi said. She mentioned the case in Florida, USA, in
which EVMs were reportedly tampered.

She said an all-party meeting should be called and
opinion of experts sought on the issue.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Union
Minister Farooq Abdullah said during his tenure as CM, the
EVMs were introduced for the first time and questions were
raised then on whether these machines were "foolproof".

"I think they should probe first. You have to be very
clear that the machines are foolproof....it should be free of
doubt," Abdullah said.

Asked if he felt this calls for an all-party meeting
on the issue, Abdullah answered in the affirmative.

Trinamool Congress Chief Whip in Lok Sabha Sudip
Bandopadhyaya said EVMs made the voting pattern quicker but at
the same time these should be above any doubts.

"We have not taken any decision (on EVMs). We had our
allegations once, no doubt. But now we have done well
(electorally)," Bandopadhyaya said.

Hari Prasad, technical coordinator of VeTA (Citizens
for Verifiability, Transparency and Accountability in
Elections), who claimed that electronic voting machines could
be tampered with, was arrested from Hyderabad on Saturday last
in connection with the theft of an EMV.

The Election Commission has termed as "patently false"
the allegation that Prasad was arrested at its behest.

PTI