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Election Commission of India to throw open challenge to check EVMs

After a series of allegations levelled by political parties and leaders after the recently-concluded five-state assembly elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) will soon throw an “open challenge” to test the infallibility of EVMs, reported Indian Express.

The war of words between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Election Commission over EVMs escalated on Monday as the AAP leader alleged that the machines used in Uttar Pradesh polls would be deployed in Bhind by polls. “This goes against the norm that EVMs used in one election cannot be used in another for at least 45 days,” the CM said.

However, the EC has dubbed the charge “baseless”.

“We will soon fix a date for this open challenge.” sources told the daily.

It also said that no one could prove the allegation in 2009, when the ECI had thrown an open challenge for anyone to demonstrate how EVMs owned by the ECI could be tampered with.

The ECI is also likely to invite those who have raised doubts, including representatives from political parties who have raised questions over integrity of EC’s EVMs to check them.

On Monday, Kejriwal demanded that the municipal election in Delhi should be ‘postponed’ so that it can be held using ballot papers. He has also written to the EC claiming that “our experts” will prove that the voting machines can be tampered with. “I challenge the ECI to give us 72 hours to prove it,” he said.

In a strongly-worded reply to the AAP’s allegations against the EVMs, the ECI advised the former to introspect about its “unsatisfactory poll performance” in the assembly elections rather than attributing it to the alleged failure of the EVMs.

“It is for your party to introspect as to why your party could not perform as per your expectations and it is unfair on the part of your party to attribute unsatisfactory poll performance of your party to the alleged tamper ability of EVMs. The Commission is fully satisfied with the tamper-proof functioning of the ECI-EVMs,” the ECI said in the letter.

After a dismal show in Punjab and Goa Assembly Elections 2017, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal alleged foul play in the EVMs.

AAP then submitted a letter to the ECI, in which it stated that they had reached to the conclusion that there had been large-scale rigging through tampering of EVMs.

The Election Commission ordered a probe into the alleged EVM tampering issue after the Congress party complained that the VVPAT machine printed a BJP slip in a trial vote which was cast to the Samajwadi Party by pressing the party’s button ahead of the After by-polls in Madhya Pradesh.

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