Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora

No going back to ballot paper era and we won’t be intimidated: CEC

ANI | Updated: Jan 24, 2019 21:11 IST

New Delhi, [India], Jan 24 (ANI) There is no going back to the era of ballot papers and “we are not going to be intimidated, bullied or coerced into giving up” the EVMs, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora asserted on Thursday, amid demands by some parties for doing away with the use of EVMs.
At the same time, Arora said the Election Commission is open to criticism and feedback from any stakeholder including political parties.
He rubbished the contention that EVMs can be tampered with.
"I would like to make it very clear that the country is not going back to the era of ballot papers," the CEC said at an event here.
His assertion came in the wake of demands by some Opposition parties, including the Samajwadi Party and the BSP, the use of EVMs should be done away with and voting should be held only using the ballot papers.
Recently, Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said a four-member committee, comprising representatives from four parties, has been formed to decide the stand of the Opposition parties on EVMs. 
“We will continue to use EVMs and VVPATs (EVMs with paper trail),” the CEC asserted on Thursday.
"We had one result in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, we had a completely different result four months later in the state elections held in Delhi. We conducted elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and so on and we have seen that results have been different every time," he added.
Arora said the EC is “open to any criticism and feedback from any stakeholder including political parties. At the same time, we are not going to be intimidated, bullied or coerced into giving up these and start an era of ballot papers." 
Rejecting the contention that EVMs can be tampered with, he said, “the machines are manufactured under highly-secured conditions by the two PSUs, which are doing a lot of hard work for the defence establishment of our country."
The EVM issue snowballed into a major row earlier this week when a self-proclaimed hacker, at an event in London attended by Congress leader Kapil Sibal, claimed that the machines can be tampered with.
The BJP questioned whether the event had been sponsored by the Congress. (ANI)

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