Mumbai, April 10: The contradictions between the buyer and suppliers of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in India have been laid bare in replies to right to information queries. But even in year-wise details, replies given by the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the two public sector suppliers — Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) Hyderabad and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), Bengaluru — have thrown up inexplicable discrepancies.
According to Mumbai-based activist Manoranjan S. Roy, whose efforts through RTI queries have shown the serious mismatches, this points to a rot which may run deeper than expected.
On the overall figures from 1989-1990 till 2014-2015, the ECI says it had received 1,005,662 EVMs from BEL, but BEL said it has supplied 1,969,932 — a difference of 964,270 machines. In the year-wise breakdown of figures, the ECI and BEL end up contradicting each other, says Roy, who has now moved the Bombay High Court seeking a probe into the whole affair.
“For instance, in 2003-2004, BEL said it supplied 193,475 EVMs to EC, which said it received only 167,850 — a shortfall of 25,625. The following year, the ECI said it received 36,395 EVMs, but BEL supplied only 2070,” Roy said.
Just in one year — in 2008-2009 — the shortfall in supply to ECI from BEL was a 962,000 EVMs. In 2010-2011 the variation was 13,490 EVMs but in 2013-2014, ECI received an excess of 51,713 EVMs against the BEL’s supply of 139,725. One of the worst years of mismatch was 2014-2015, when BEL supplied 62,183 EVMs but ECI received none.
Ditto is the scerio with ECIL, which supplied 1,944,593 EVMs to ECI between 1989-1990 to 2016-2017 but ECI said it received 1,014,644 — a gaping shortfall of 929,949. A similar mismatch rules the year-wise numbers with ECIL.
“In 2003-2004, ECIL said it supplied 303,878 EVMs to EC, which said it received only 168,195. In 2008-2009, the ECI said it received 78,000 EVMs, but ECIL figures say it supplied 816,000 EVMs,” Roy said. (IANS)