Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju told Parliament on Friday that there has been no proposal to introduce remote electronic voting machines in the upcoming polls.

Assembly elections are due in Tripura on February 16 while Nagaland, and Meghalaya will vote on February 27. Before the Lok Sabha elections in 2024, Assembly elections are also scheduled to be held in Karnataka, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana. It is not clear if Rijiju referred to all these polls by saying “upcoming election”.

He made the statement in response to questions from Lok Sabha MPs Anto Antony, Gaurav Gogoi, K Subbarayan and Manickam Tagore on whether the Election Commission had developed a prototype for remote voting machines, and if the poll body intended to introduce them in upcoming elections.

The Election Commission has said it is looking into the prospect of using remote voting machines for domestic migrants who cannot travel to their home constituencies to cast their votes. A single remote polling booth can handle up to 72 multiple constituencies, according to the poll body.

The Commission had planned a demonstration of the remote voting machines on January 17, but it had to be postponed after the Opposition parties expressed concerns over the reform.

In his response to Parliament on Friday, Rijiju noted that public sector unit Electronic Corporation of India Limited has developed a prototype of the remote electronic voting machine. He also clarified that the proposed remote voting method will not be used for non-resident Indian voters. He expressed confidence that the introduction of remote voting machines would not increase fake votes.

Also read: Why a voting proposal for migrants has alarmed India’s Opposition parties