Press Trust of india

Our responsibility to convince political parties on EVMs: CEC Kumar

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New Delhi: Days after a group of opposition parties raised concerns over the efficacy of EVMs, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Wednesday said it was the poll panel’s responsibility to convince political parties on the voting machines.

He also said over the years, electronic voting machines have given results in favour of all those who have raised concerns over its reliability.

Several opposition parties had last week flagged  concerns over the reliability of EVMs and had urged the Election Commission to address their doubts.

“This question has been answered on several occasions. I don’t want to answer it again except the point that in a democratic system, political parties have a major role. They are very important stakeholders,” Kumar said responding to a question on opposition parties’ concerns.

“We have read about it (concerns), but yet to receive anything. As and when we receive it, we will try our best to convince them. We have done it, we’ll do it again. It is our responsibility,” he said.

He said the issue of efficacy of the EVMs never came up in the past five assembly elections. People lost by less than 100 votes and candidates accepted it happily, he said.

He said besides technology, the process from the time an EVM is deployed till it is stored back in a warehouse is stringent and transparent.

Representatives of parties are involved at each step, he said.

“Since political parties are saying, it must be well thought move. EVMs over the years have given results in favour of those who are raising it (issue),” he said.

To another question on remote voting machine, the CEC said the poll panel has received suggestions on it, “but from a very limited number of parties. We wrote to close to 60 parties.”

“The processes, the administrative part, the legal part and the technological part is a work in progress. Everybody has suggested … it is a long-drawn process … till that time, the outreach for bringing as many people to the polling station continues to be our focus,” he said.

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