Assembly elections 2018: Opposition parties bring up EVM malfunction at Delhi meeting

Opposition parties raised concerns about the safekeeping and transportation of electronic voting machines (EVM) and their alleged malfunction at a meeting in Delhi on Monday. According to a senior leader present at the meeting who refused to be identified, leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress alleged EVMs malfunctioned in the recent round of five-state elections. Opposition parties also questioned alleged lapses in the storage and transfer of EVMs. The EC has denied any laxity in EVM security and dismissed all claims that the devices could be hacked.

“India needs a government, for which democracy is the Magna Carta beyond the victories and losses of electoral battles. Innumerable deficiencies, failures and plausible doubts on the neutral functionality of EVMs per se have raised a question on the neutrality of poll process itself. It is our firm belief that this needs to be redressed without question and without delay,” read a statement issued after the meeting.

“I demanded paper ballots in the upcoming elections,” said AAP leader Sanjay Singh.

The Congress has already complained to the EC about delayed polling in Madhya Pradesh and alleged inadequate security outside strong rooms.

Two former chief election commissioners, however, said the lapses reported are not alarming. “The complaints reported were not very many in numbers, but it is true that officials will have to pay attention to training,” said one former CEC requesting anonymity.

The lapses that have come to light, said another former CEC N Gopalaswami, will have to be seen in “context”. “A few lapses that were reported cannot cast a shadow on the election process.”

First Published: Dec 10, 2018 23:29 IST

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