Here’s What the ECI Said in Response


Edited By: Oindrila Mukherjee

Last Updated: March 12, 2023, 01:51 IST

CEC Rajiv Kumar rubbished allegations of malpractice through EVMs and said there was not a single complaint against the machine in past elections. (Representational image: Reuters/File)

The Congress has written to the Election Commission of India seeking answers to its reservations about the use of EVMs A fresh debate has begun in Karnataka, ahead of the assembly elections, as the Congress raised questions over alleged malpractices through the electronic voting machine. The party also wrote to the Election Commission of India seeking answers to its reservations about the use of EVMs.

Earlier, the Congress had claimed that more than 14 political parties, which have conveyed their concerns over the efficacy of EVMs to the Election Commission, were yet to receive a response. On Saturday, chief election commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar, who arrived in Bengaluru with his team for a three-day visit on March 9, slammed the opposition for raking up the EVM issue ahead of the elections.

Kumar said any machine underwent various trials and examinations during its development before bringing it to function or use. The CEC rubbished the allegations and said there was not a single complaint in past elections and, thus, and it should not be a concern for any party about where the EVMs come from.

“If a car comes from Maharashtra to Bengaluru, does it behave differently? It is a machine that has proved itself, it undergoes a technical examination. In the last five elections, there wasn’t even a single allegation on one of the EVMs. This is a settled issue and there is no point in raising it again. Doesn’t matter from where we get it – whether from Gujarat, Himachal or other states,” he said.

He further reminded the opposition parties about first-level checking (FCL), which was not a hidden fact. As part of the directives, the ECI conducts the FCL in every by-election and a general election that includes all the advance checks to ensure a hassle-free election in the presence of representatives and their agents.

“After the arrival of machines, there is something called FLC, which is carried out in the presence of all political parties. Every machine is randomised in the presence of candidates and their agents. So this poor machine doesn’t know where to go as it is a machine after all,” the CEC added.

However, the Karnataka Congress has not just urged the ECI for early elections but also to ensure a free and fair election by announcing the code of conduct at the earliest.

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