EC to use EVMS with paper trail in Gujarat Assembly polls

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Gujarat Global News Network, New Delhi

The Election Commission today submitted to the Supreme Court that it will be able to conduct Gujarat Assembly elections using EVMs with paper trail.

In its affidavit the EC said that it will be able to do so if it gets 73,500 VVPAT machines by September from the manufacturers.

The apex court was hearing the plea filed by a Gujarat Patidar leader seeking the use of either ballot paper or EVMs with VVPAT for the assembly elections.

Petitioner Reshma Vithabhai Patel, the convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti had claimed that the EVMs were not “fully reliable, foolproof, tamper-proof or hacker-proof”.

The ECI should be asked to replace EVMs with ballot paper or to ensure VVPAT for every EVM, she had demanded.

The poll panel maintained that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) currently used for conducting Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the country cannot be tampered with. It told the apex court that around 70,000 VVPATs units would be required for the Gujarat polls scheduled later this year.

The poll panel said that around 48,000 units were expected to be delivered by Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) by August 31 while another 25,500 such units would be delivered by September.

“If the said consignment of VVPATs is delivered on time, the Election Commission expects to be able to conduct the elections to the Gujarat legislative assembly completely with the use of VVPATs,” the poll panel told the apex court in its affidavit. The ECI said that currently it was in possession of 53,500 VVPAT units.

“It is pertinent to point out herein that the Election Commission of India (ECI) currently has 53,500 of VVPAT units in its possession and the number of VVPAT units required for conducting election to the Gujarat legislative assembly is 70,000 units.

A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar accepted the submission of EC and disposed off the petition.

 (For news in Hindi see our Hindi daily Chaupal Chronicle)

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