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Former CEC Navin Chawla
Former CEC Navin Chawla

Former CEC Naveen Chawla calls EVM a fine machine, cautions against returning to ballots

ANI | Updated: Jan 22, 2019 23:21 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 22 (ANI): Former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Naveen Chawla on Tuesday said that EVM was “a very good and fine machine” and cautioned against returning to the use of ballot papers for conducting the polls.
“I endorse that EVM is a very good and fine machine. We should never go back to ballot papers,” Chawla told ANI here, while commenting on the current furore over the EVM Hackathon held in London on Monday.
“My position is very clear about EVM. Election Commission’s EVMs are manufactured by two public sector companies under highly secret conditions. These machines were made in 2000 and have been used continuously since 2006,” he said.
“It is just that those who win the elections don't say anything about EVM, whereas those who lose challenge EVMs,” he said, while hailing India’s electoral process. “I have visited many countries as an election observer. Our system is of 100 per cent accountability.”
Talking about ‘cyber-security researcher’ Syed Shuja’s claim regarding EVM hacking, he said: “This is very unfortunate. Raising such an issue is very distasteful.”
“I was at the helm of affairs during 2009 General Elections. We got 100 machines and installed cameras. It was an open invitation to hack EVMs and people were called to demonstrate hacking if it is possible and no one could do it,” added Chawla.
Responding to the chorus of using ballot papers for elections, former CEC said: “I have argued this in my book that long ago there was a major problem of booth capturing.”
“Also very often the stamp is not clearly marked, which lead to a large number of invalid votes. EVMs have made the process neat and clean,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police on Tuesday said to investigate the claim made by Shuja that EVMs can be tampered with, as a political row erupted over the issue.
Amid the claims by the so-called hacker, there were renewed calls by some Opposition parties for finding an alternative to the EVMs, including the return to the use of ballot papers, in the coming Lok Sabha polls. (ANI)