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Why EVMs can't be tampered with? Former CEC explains

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New Delhi, May 22: Amid raging row over the EVMs and VVPAT counting, Former Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Wednesday explained the procedures followed to prevent EVMs from being tampered with.

"EVMs can not be tampered with. EVM security protocol is so strict whenever a strong room has to be opened, representatives of all political parties have to be there, machines are taken out in their presence, mock poll is also conducted," Rawat told ANI.

Former Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat

" In fact when making EVM ready for the polling, a mock poll is again conducted at polling station where all the polling agents are asked to vote and then count, so all these arrangements ensure that EVMs can not be tampered with," he added.

The three-member Election Commission earlier rejected the demand from 22 political parties to make last-minute changes to the way votes will be counted on Thursday. The opposition had asked the commission to conduct the VVPAT verification process before the counting of votes begins.

Intensifying the attack on the poll body for rejecting the demands of the opposition parties on VVPAT slips, Congress on Wednesday called the Election Commission an 'Enfeebled Commission' and the Electronic Voting Machine as the 'Electronic Victory Machines.

The 22 Opposition leaders drew attention to reports of what they called suspicious EVM movements and demanded verification of VVPAT slips before the counting of votes and not later. The poll body, however, dismissed the allegation adding that the EVMs were "absolutely safe" in strongrooms.

[Amit Shah asks 6 questions to opposition over EVM row]

Opposition leaders had indicated that they weren't very hopeful that the poll panel would fix the discrepancies hours before the counting process is to begin, not when it had chosen to ignore the suggestions for months.

While the Opposition has been informed of the Election Commission's meeting today, the leaders say they were not very hopeful since the EC's "body language was not very positive". The BJP, meanwhile, has called the Opposition move a desperate attempt in the face of certain defeat.

The EC, which has been facing criticism from the Opposition over free and fair conduct of polls, had on Wednesday dismissed allegations that the voting machines used in the Lok Sabha election were being switched with fresh ones ahead of counting of votes on May 23. The EC also set up a 24-hour control room to monitor complaints relating to EVMs.

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