The Election Commission on Friday gave a clean chit to the Election Voting Machine used in a demonstration in Bhind, Madhya Pradesh. The special inquiry panel set up to investigate the EVM, which was earlier declared faulty by the polling monitor, said that the accuracy of the voting machine in question “is beyond doubt”. “Team has found no anomaly or tampering in the EVM and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trails used during the demonstration in Bhind on March 31,” the EC said.
The EVM used in the trial triggered a controversy after a video showed it generating a receipt for the Bharatiya Janata Party even though state Chief Electoral Officer Saleena Singh had selected the button for the Samajwadi Party. A team of officers had been flown in from Delhi to look into allegations of EVM manipulation and quell concerns of Opposition parties ahead of the by-polls to two Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh on April 9.
The polling officers had said that the EVM in question was among the 300 that were sent from Kanpur after the recent Uttar Pradesh elections. The machine seen in the video was used for voting in Kanpur’s Govindnagar constituency during the UP Assembly elections. BJP’s Satyadev Pachauri – now a UP Cabinet minister – had won from the Govindnagar constituency.
After leaders of the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party approached the Election Commission, alleging EVM tampering again, the polling monitor said two teams of EC officers, along with technical experts, will be deployed in Madhya Pradesh to ensure that the EVMs and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trails used in the April 9 by-polls were “to the complete satisfaction of all stakeholders”.