CEC: Charges of EVM tampering motivated

Kolkata, August 11 

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora has said allegations of EVM tampering are “more than unfair” and made with a criminal intent. “The machines might malfunction occasionally, as does the equipment used for other purposes, but it cannot be tampered with,” he said at the business conclave at IIM-Calcutta.

“Malfunctioning is very different from tampering. The electronic voting machines (EVM) cannot be tinkered with. If you say otherwise, you have a criminal intent, which we deeply resent,” he maintained.

Noting that two “highly reputed” public firms had designed the EVMs, Arora said, “The EVMs were made in a secure environment and distinguished emeritus professors of reputed institutes have supervised the entire process.” Arora was in the city to attend events organised by the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences and IIM (Calcutta).

Pointing out that Opposition parties, including the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Congress, had levelled charges of EVM tinkering only after the declaration of Lok Sabha election results, the CEC said, “This is more than unfair. When you lose, why make the machine a flogging object? The charges hurt the integrity of the Election Commission (EC) and those involved in the process of making the EVMs, which  cannot be tampered with, but can malfunction, just like any equipment used by you in everyday life,” he said.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and a host of other Opposition leaders, including TDP’s N Chandrababu Naidu, Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray, have repeatedly claimed that voting machines can be tampered with. — PTI