CEO allays fears over EVM tampering

Our correspondent
Itanagar, June 5: Amidst apprehension by various political parties of possible Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) tampering during Assembly polls in Arunachal Pradesh due next year, State’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Kaling Tayeng has clarified that there is no scope for tampering the EVMs during the poll process.

Tayeng’s reaction came after Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC), Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) and National People’s Party (NPP) have drawn the attention of the Election Commission of India (ECI), pleading it to conduct elections in State through ballot papers fearing that the ruling BJP government in the State could manipulate the election result by tempering EVMs.

“We are appealing the ECI to conduct the next year’s elections in Arunachal Pradesh through ballot papers so that the deserving candidates, and not the candidates with wealth, power and technology to influence and manipulate the EVM results, win,” the party said in a joint statement on Saturday after getting a brief about the robustness, reliability and working of the EVMs at the DC’s office at Yupia, near here. The CEO in a statement here said that as per the ECI’s direction, First Level Checking (FLC) of EVMs and WPATs in Arunachal Pradesh started from June 1 last.

“FLC is being done by well-trained engineers from Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), manufacturer of EVM and WPAT Machine. Before election, two layers checking of EVMs are done. This is only the first level checking before the general election,” he said.

“Basically this first level checking is done only to identify the defective EVMs/WPATs which require repairing and good EVMs/WPATs are kept under pink paper seal cover which will be removed during commissioning of EVMs. To carry out the FLC and other EVM related works the political parties are involved,” Tayeng added in the statement.

Stating that question of tampering EVMs does not arise and it is not at all possible, Tayeng said that in this connection, the ECI had already clarified its position and the Commission had also discussed the matter with experts and political parties.
“EVM is cent per cent tamper proof and are not hackable. All the political parties are requested to involve themselves during FLC to clear their doubt,” the CEO added.