India is not going back to paper ballots, says CEC Sunil Arora amid EVM hackathon row
New Delhi, Jan 24: Amid EVM hackathon row, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora has said that elections will continue to be held through electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the country will not return to ballot papers.
"I would like to make it very clear that we are not going back to the era of ballot papers," he said.
Arora slammed those questioning the credibility of the Electronic Voting Machines and said that they claim the EVMs to be faulty only when the poll results are not as per their choice.
"We will continue to use EVMs and VVPATs. We are open to any criticism and feedback from any stakeholder including political parties. At the same time, we are not going to be intimidated, bullied or coerced into giving up these and start era of ballot papers," Arora said.
He said EVMs are the result of several years of research and efforts. "It is not in the interest of anyone to go back to the paper ballots. The ECI has collectively rejected the demand to reintroduce ballot papers in the past, is rejecting it now and will do so in the future," he said.
The EVM controversy is refusing to die down, raising its head every few months. This time around, its epicentre was London.
On Monday, in a Hackathon event organised in London, Suja, a self-proclaimed hacker, made sensational claims that EVMs in India could be tampered with and alleged that 2014 general elections were rigged.
He said that the 2014 general elections were rigged, almost all political parties in the country are guilty in this and also late minister and senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde was killed because he was aware of the rigging.
Shuja introduced himself as a former member of Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) and was part of the team that devised the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used in 2014.