The Congress on Monday said the Election Commission is only the arbiter and not the controller of the democratic process and asked the poll body to introspect and explore possibility of shifting voting from EVMs to the alternative system of paper ballots. The opposition party also said that the EC should not be an advocate for electronic voting machines (EVMs) and should conduct polls to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. A major row erupted last week over a video of a VVPAT demonstration by a poll official in Madhya Pradesh where the machine attached to an EVM allegedly dispensed slips of only BJP as the opposition demanded reverting to the old ballot paper system of voting while scrapping use of EVMs. There have been demands from various parties over the efficacy of EVMs following the spectacular victory of BJP in Uttar Pradesh and of Congress in Punjab.
“The Election Commission is at best the arbiter of the democratic process, it is not the controller of the democratic process…
“Ultimately democracy is based on public trust and if there is a feeling of widespread distrust in the Electronic Voting Machines, the Election Commission rather than taking a succinct stand on it, should introspect,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters.
He said the fact that EVMs can be tampered with is something which has been demonstrated over and over again by different stakeholders, including BJP, Congress and others.