EC will Not be Intimidated, Coerced, Pressured Into Going back to Ballot Papers Days: Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora
He denounced targeting of EVMs, saying even in recent state elections, out of 176,000 Polling Booths there were six incidents of violation of Standard Operating Procedure.
Chief Election Commissioner of India, Sunil Arora, stated that the Election Commission of India would not be intimidated, coerced or pressurised into going back to the ballot papers days.
Speaking at the inauguration of an international conference on “Making our Elections Inclusive and Accessible” on January 24, Arora said that free, fair, transparent, credible and ethical elections are critical to the legitimacy of a democratic government. He added that the ECI would not be intimidated, coerced or pressurised into going back to the ballot papers days.
In ballot paper era, he said, there used to be many complaints about impersonation and booth capturing by anti-social elements and musclemen, besides the inordinate delays in declaring results which sometimes spread from three to four days. “We have kept a robust technical and administrative mechanism to safeguard the integrity of EVM. VVPATs have further enhanced the transparency of votes for the voters,” Arora said.
Arora denounced targeting of EVMs, saying: “EVMs have been in use for the last two decades. Even in several elections since 2014, the machines have given different results in different elections.” He also mentioned that even in the recent elections in the five states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram — out of a total of 176,000 Polling Booths where EVMs were used, there were six incidents of violation of Standard Operating Procedure. The six incidents pertained to reserved EVMs which were not used in the actual elections. “Although the ratio is negligible, even in these cases stringent disciplinary action was taken, and the ECI has and always will have zero tolerance to any kind of errors in the election process,” he reiterated.
Chairpersons, Chief Election Commissioners, Commissioners and senior officials from election management bodies from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Russia and Sri Lanka and heads of international organisations such as the Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre in UK, the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) are participating in this international conference in New Delhi.