Editorials International News Election Commission asks Modi government to release funds for paper trail machines
Election Commission asks Modi government to release funds for paper trail machines
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Sources from New Delhi have stated that the Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi on Sunday appealed the Centre to release funds on urgent basis for procurement of paper trail machines, ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. Zaidi’s appeal came in the wake of recent protests by Opposition parties against electronic voting machines (EVMs). According to the reports, the Election Commission would need over 16 lakh voter-verifiable paper audit trails (VVPATs), at an estimated cost of Rs 3,174 crore to cover all polling stations in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
As per the reports from sources it was stated that the CEC has written a letter to law ministry mentioning the apex court direction while hearing a contempt petition, during which it has asked the poll panel to state the rough schedule within which the entire system of voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) can be introduced. The EC has said that machines can be manufactured within 30 months from the date of release of funds.
It was added by the CEC in a written letter to the law of ministry that “the process of procurement of VVPATs cannot be delayed any longer given the prevailing environment… The commission stands fully committed to deploying VVPATs along with EVMs in all future elections so that transparency of electoral process is enhanced, the integrity of the voting preserved and the voters’ confidence in the process is further strengthened”.
Earlier also, the Commission had informed Modi government that if they do not place the order for the machines by February, it won’t be easy for the manufacturers to supply them by September 2018 and after the Assembly election results on March 11, BSP supremo Mayawati, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Congress party had alleged that the EVMs were tampered with in such a way that whichever button was pressed, the vote went to Bharatiya Janata Party.