EC dismisses media reports about malfunctioning of 18 EVMs

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The senior Congress leader said if it is not possible to acquire so many VVPAT machines in a short time, then one could try EVMs in 50 per cent booths and ballot paper in the rest 50 per cent booths.

Accusing the Election Commission of "overlooking" complaints of alleged EVM manipulation, Kejriwal linked the Commission to Mahabharata's character Dhritarashtra.

The Election Commission is planning an open challenge for scientists, technologist & political parties in India next month to prove the authenticity of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), reports said.

The Congress, which had appeared initially reluctant to lead the campaign on EVMs, had called a meeting of all the opposition parties this morning to discuss the issue.

The EVM debate in India took a violent turn today as angry protesters went on a rampage in Kashmir reportedly stealing at least sixteen EVMs and damaging over 33 EVMs during protests, media reports said.

He said that "unlike the traditional ballot system where election officials were only the "insiders", EVM regime has spawned a long chain of insiders and there is every possibility that some of these "insiders" are involved in "murky activities in fixing elections".

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In the meeting with the Election Commission on Tuesday, a team of top opposition leaders put forward their demand before the ECI for using ballot papers instead of EVMs in upcoming elections in view of alleged tampering.

Kejriwal demanded that the civic polls on April 23 be held only using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) and that too after all political parties are given a chance to technically examine them randomly.

The opposition parties' meet with the EC came on a day when Delhi chief minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal blamed the poll panel for the "tampering" and accused it of favouring the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Opposition leaders are demanding that a paper trail be introduced in all future elections.

He said that Election Commission is blindly helping his son, BJP and no major step is being taken against the faulty voting machines. "The environment of fear and insecurity has been prevailing in the country and voices of dissent are being muzzled", said Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

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