EC convenes all-party meet on EVMs on May 12

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EC convenes all-party meet on EVMs on May 12

New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) The Election Commission (EC) has convened an all-party meeting on May 12 to discuss issues related to Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in the backdrop of alleged charges of EVM tampering in the recent polls.

As per a release, the commission has sent status paper on EVMs and VVPAT to all seven national and 48 state political parties.

“The agenda will also cover making bribery in elections a Cognisable offence, disqualification on framing of charges for the offences of bribery in elections and suggestions in VVPAT recount Rules,” reads the release.

It has sought written response from all the parties by May 7.

The EC’s meeting with all the parties comes in order to convince and assure them that the EVMs cannot be hacked.

After the latest assembly elections in five states and municipal elections in Delhi, many opposition parties raised questions over the reliability of EVMs.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had urged the State Election Commission to hold the Delhi civic polls with ballot paper trail.

The Congress on Thursday said the onus lies on the commission to remove these doubts in order to uphold the sanctity of the electoral process.

“Election Commission is not hostile to a political party or group. The sole responsibility and onus on the EC is to uphold the majesty, transparency and accountability of the democratic process,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters.

The EC is also planning to throw an open challenge to all stakeholders to try and hack its EVMs to remove all doubts about the voting machines.

Last week, a senior EC official had said that the challenge would show the EVMs are non-tamperable and secure as per our administrative and technical safeguard system.

At least 16 opposition parties, alleging tampering, had urged the EC to stop use of EVMs and revert to the paper ballot system in elections.

The parties, including Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Aam Aadmi Party and others, levelled tampering allegations after the BJP swept assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.