New Delhi: The Election Commission will announce on Saturday the schedule for its challenge to tamper with its electronic voting machines.
At an all-party meeting on May 12, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had said a "challenge" was on the cards for political parties to prove that EVMs used in the recent assembly polls were tampered with. He had also said that parties can try and prove that EVMs can be tampered with even under strict technical and administrative safeguards as applicable during elections.
In 2009, the Commission had held a similar challenge and it claims no one was able to tamper with its machines. Then 100 EVMs from various parts of the country were brought to Vigyan Bhawan here for the challenge. A demonstration of EVMs and paper trail machines has also been organised by the Commission before the press conference planned for Saturday afternoon.
At the all-party meet, most of the parties said future elections should be held using EVMs provided they are attached to paper trail machines. There were, however, some parties whose representatives said their faith in the machines has eroded and the EC should revert to the old ballot paper system. While the BJP, CPI, CPI (M), AIADMK, DMK, NCP and JD(U) clearly supported the use of EVMs, provided paper trail machines are attached to it, BSP, AAP, Trinamool Congress said the paper ballot system was better and more transparent.
The Congress was of the view that if EVMs are used there should be transparency at every level so that political parties and voters are separately convinced about the reliability of the machine. It said the Supreme Court has been stressing on more transparency, which necessarily does not mean use of EVMs. It said the use of paper trail machines with all EVMs in future elections was fine.
The BSP and the AAP had alleged that the machines used in the recent assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Punjab were tampered with to favour the BJP. Later, several other parties had joined the chorus and urged the EC to revert to paper ballots.