India will not go back to ballot paper, says CEC Sunil Arora

New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Jan 24: Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora has made it clear that India certainly is not going to walk two steps back to ballot papers. This announcement was made amid EVM hacking row.

Of late, the chorus is growing for conducting Lok Sabha elections through ballot paper, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Thursday made it clear that the election body will not go back to the era of ballot papers."I would like to make it very clear that country is not going back to the era of ballot papers," Arora said at an event in New Delhi."We had one result in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, we had a completely different result four months later in the state elections held in Delhi. We conducted elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and so on and we have seen that results have been different every time," he added.Stating that the EC is open to criticism from any stakeholder including political parties, Arora stated, "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 an era of ballot papers."Clearing the doubts over the possibility of EVMs prone to hacking, the election body chief said that "the machines are manufactured under highly-secured conditions by the two PSUs, which are doing a lot of hard work for the defence establishment of our country."Not long ago, an event was organised in London, where a self-proclaimed hacker Syed Shuja claimed that the EVMs can be tampered with.Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister, said that a four-member committee has been formed to take a call on the stand of the opposition parties on voting machines in view of the coming general elections.

With Agencies