The Election Commission of India on Friday vouched for the credibility of its voting machines and said it was not responsible for the procedures followed for polls held by state election commissions and other institutions. The statement came a day after allegations of cheating marred the counting of Delhi University Students’ Union polls.
On Thursday, the counting of votes in the students’ union elections was suspended after students created an uproar over “faulty electronic voting machines”. The office of the chief electoral officer in Delhi clarified that the EVMs used in the students’ union elections were not allotted to the university by the Election Commission and were procured privately.
The Election Commission said that the voting machines used in the students’ polls were multi-post EVMs, which enable voters to cast their ballot for more than one post. These EVMs are technically different from the single-post EVMs employed by the Election Commission, it said.
The EVMs used by the poll panel cannot be tampered with, said the Election Commission. “The basis of confidence flows from a wide range of technical and administrative protocols and procedural safeguards that protects our EVMs and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines against any sort of tampering,” said the poll panel.
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad on Thursday won the president, vice president and the joint secretary posts, while the post of secretary was won by the National Students’ Union of India.
Meanwhile, Delhi Congress President Ajay Maken on Friday demanded that the elections be cancelled and re-conducted without EVMs. “The DUSU polls should be countermanded and fresh polls should be conducted on paper ballot,” he said at a press conference. “There should be on-camera counting.” He claimed that NSUI candidates were leading the polls before the EVMs malfunctioned.
Maken asked the university to disclose the source of the EVMs, alleging that the faulty machines were procured from the Electronics Corporation of India Limited that manufactures EVMs for the Election Commission on a contractual basis. “The ECIL cannot give EVMs to any institution without the approval of the Election Commission,” claimed Maken.
Responding to the Congress party’s allegations, the ECIL said that the Delhi University had purchased the EVMs long back, reported News18. “The same EVMs have been used every year for student elections,” said ECIL Additional General Manager Rajiv Mathur.