EC rejects claims of EVM tampering as wild, baseless

RSTV Bureau
File photo: Election officials inspecting electronic voting machines ahead of voting.

File photo: Election officials inspecting electronic voting machines ahead of voting.

Election commission today strongly rejected the claims by some political parties that its electronic voting machines can be tampered with. The apex poll body said that the machines were fully tamper proof as ever.

BSP chief Mayawati and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have questioned the reliability of electronic voting machines in the wake of their resounding defeat in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab assembly elections respectively.

The poll panel said it did not receive specific complaints or concrete material from political parties and candidates about alleged tampering of EVMs during recently held election process.

It said the BSP’s representation on EVM tampering was without any specific allegation and it had rejected the claim of the party.

Election Commission said: “Such concerns about alleged tamperability of ECI-EVM have been raised earlier also since their introduction including before high court and the Supreme Court. These allegations have been dismissed. ECI unequivocally reiterates that given the effective technical and administrative safeguards, EVMs are not tamperable and integrity of electoral process is preserved.”

The Commission further said: ‘Baseless, speculative and wild allegations are being made which deserved to be rejected.’

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, BJP’s ally Shiv Sena too had jumped the bandwagon.

Political party activists have been circulating videos and other material on social media to buttress their claims that electronic voting machines can be tampered.

 Members of Bahujan Sashaktikaran Sangh (BSS) during a demonstration allege that EVMs used in the elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand were faulty, in Meerut on 14 March 2017.

Members of Bahujan Sashaktikaran Sangh (BSS) during a demonstration allege that EVMs used in the elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand were faulty, in Meerut on 14 March 2017.

However, the commission rejected the material circulated on social media. It said: “What has been demonstrated or claimed to have been demonstrated is on a privately assembled look-alike of ECI-EVMs and not the actual machines of Election Commission.”

The EC’s rebuttal came a day after Mayawati said she will move court against the alleged tampering of EVMs. Kejriwal too had alleged that EVMs may have been tampered with in Punjab, adding “it is about the credibility of the Election Commission and the faith of people in the electoral system. We have strong prima facie evidence of foul play.”

The Commission said that so far, no one had been able to actually demonstrate that EVMs used by the Election Commission can be tampered with or manipulated.

Electronics Corporation of India Ltd and Bharat Electronics Ltd are the two PSUs which manufacture the EVMs for EC.