Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Friday said the General Elections will be held on time despite tensions between Pakistan and India, PTI reported. He was asked if the polls would be postponed. The term of the current Lok Sabha ends on June 3.
Arora said the dates of the elections would be notified through the “usual press conference”, reported IANS. Arora was in Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow to review preparations for the elections.
Arora said electronic voting machines were being treated like a “football”, referring to the criticism by political parties.
“EVMs are being used for the past over two decades,” Arora said. “If we take results of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls into account, the results of the Delhi assembly polls four months after, they were different. We have made EVMs football, knowingly or unknowingly... If result is X, then EVMs are okay, and if it is Y, then the EVMs are faulty.”
Arora said the poll body has taken into consideration the concerns raised and have started using Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails. “There were some problems initially, but arrangements have been made,” he said.
Arora defended the use of electronic voting machines, saying they were manufactured by “highly secure companies” like Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited, which are involved in making defence equipment.
Arora said a technical advisory committee will monitor EVM arrangements. “It [advisory committee] has decisive powers, which even the EC [Election Commission] did not have,” he said. “This committee has the best of scientists. Therefore, there are no chances of doubts.”
Arora said poll candidates will have to submit details of properties abroad and those in India as per a new notification of the poll body. “The I-T department will look into it and, if any, discrepancies are found then it will be uploaded on the Election Commission website and strict action will be initiated,” he said.
Arora said the poll body is committed to holding free and fair polls and will act promptly on inflammatory speeches.