The EC also plans to call a meeting of political parties to assure them that the EVMs were tamper-proof.

Election Commission to hold open challenge to disprove claims of EVM tamperingFile photo: PTI
news News Sunday, April 30, 2017 - 09:54

With some opposition leaders alleging tampering and hacking of electronic voting machines (EVMs), the Election Commission on Saturday said it will soon throw an "open challenge" to prove if the machines could be tampered with.

Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said in New Delhi, that the EC will call a meeting of political parties to assure them that the EVMs were tamper-proof.

"They will be told how the EVMs are non-tamperable and secure as per our administrative and technical safeguard system," he told media.

The EC, to make things transparent and boost confidence of people in the EVMs, has proposed to use the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) technology in future elections. He added that India could become the first country in the world to have the VVPAT for elections.

The EC has placed an order for the supply of 15 lakh VVPAT machines. These will be supplied by the public sector Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India (ECI).

At least 16 opposition parties, alleging tampering, had recently urged the EC to stop use of EVMs and revert to the paper ballot system in elections.

The parties, including Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and others, levelled tampering allegations after the BJP swept assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

In the past, similar allegations of EVM tampering were made to the EC by political parties and leaders. However, no one was also to prove that the machines could be tampered with.

In April, a number of opposition leaders, including Congress President Sonia Gandhi, met President Pranab Mukherjee on the EVM issue.

A delegation of 13 parties that called on the President included Congress Vice- President Rahul Gandhi and senior party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge, Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal-United.

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