New Delhi: Amidst growing skepticism among political parties over the credibility of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), former chief election commissioners (CEC) on Sunday asserted that machines cannot be hacked and thereby backed the Election Commission for throwing an open challenge to political parties and experts to see if they can tamper the polling machines.
Speaking to ANI, former CEC T. S. Krishnamurthy said, "EVMs are credible. There is no reason to disbelieve it. If there are any doubts or apprehensions, the Election Commission would certainly remove this apprehension. On the other hand, this is a machine which we should be proud of. The Indian engineers have developed it without much of a complication."
"It results in saving tons and tons of paper, it is environment friendly, and results can be announced quickly. There cannot be an invalid vote in EVM," he added.
Expressing similar views, former CEC N. Gopalswami said, "It is the losers who point fingers and try to find faults, but the winners know the reality. This is not the first time that the EC has thrown an open challenge. EVM is safe."
Krishnamurthy also downplayed opposition parties' demand of conducting elections on a ballot paper system.
"There are number of cases of where bogus ballot papers were made in parts of eastern India, we have information to that affect. So it would be unfair to say that ballot paper is a better alternative," he said.
The Centre on Saturday launched a veiled attack on the Opposition and said that questioning the EVMs amounted to questioning the poll panel.
"Opposition leaders find an excuse for their defeat. In 2004 and 2009, when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) won, there was no issue with EVM. When Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) won in Uttar Pradesh, there was no issue with EVM," Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
"When Akali- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition lost in Punjab and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won in Delhi, there was no issue with EVM. Questioning EVMs means questioning the Election Commission of India," he added.
The Centre's reaction came in connection with former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav remarks alleging that he heard voters that votes went to the BJP despite voting for the Samajwadi Party.
BSP supremo Mayawati has said that she is ready to join hands with other political parties to take on the BJP on the issue of EVMs tampering.
Irked by the charges, the Election Commission (EC) challenged skeptics to prove that EVMs can be tampered with.