New Delhi: Senior BJP leader L K Advani
on Monday welcomed the Election Commission`s plans to discuss the
issue of paid news with political parties and suggested that
this meeting should also deal with the misgivings about EVMs
in India and abroad.
"The Commission intends to discuss (with political
parties) the question of paid news - a form of media
corruption, that has besmirched elections lately," Advani
wrote on his blog.
Advani, who became a blogger early last year, resumed
writing after several months.
"I suggest that this meeting should also include in its
agenda the misgivings that have been voiced in different parts
of the world, and lately in India also, as to the
dependability and fairness of Electronic Voting Machines," he
The BJP Parliamentary Party Chairman asserted that
Germany has banned use of EVMs altogether while 32 of the 50
states in USA have laws making use of paper back-up of EVMs
"There is legislation pending in the US Congress seeking
to make this State law a federal law. I hope the proposed
meting of the Election Commission with political party
representatives would agree to have a similar law framed by
the Indian Parliament also," he said.
"In US, this technology is referred to as Voter Verified
Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). The VVPAT voting machine produces a
paper record of every single vote cast by the voters on the
machine," he added.
The former Deputy Prime Minister said IT experts believe
there is no such thing as tamper-proof electronic machine.
"Paper back-up is a cure not only for the mischief of
tampering, but also for the problem of machine
malfunctioning," he said in his blog.
"How can a country with such a large population of
totally illiterate citizens run a successful democracy?" he
said about the opinion prevalent in the Western countries when
India adopted EVMs.
Advani has also mentioned his discussion with late
Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of how democracy had
been a success in India but not in her country.
"Benazir offered two reasons: firstly, India’s army has
been scrupulously apolitical, and secondly, India’s
Constitution makers have made the Election Commission truly
independent of the executive," he reminisced.