The EVMs used in Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls will be used in Surat for the upcoming election in the state. Two deputy collector rank officials from Surat are in Uttar Pradesh to fetch 12,500 EVMs from six UP districts. “We have collected EVMs from Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra, Mathura, Aligarh and Baduan districts. All the data in the machines have been cleared. The machines have been loaded in 15 trucks with armed security guards. We will reach Surat on Wednesday,” said Deputy Collector N R Dhandhal.
In the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections, the Election Commission will deploy EVMs with VVPATs or paper trail devices procured from Hyderabad-based Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) in eight of the 33 districts of Gujarat, most of which fall in the pre-dominantly tribal areas of south and central parts of the state.
“These eight districts are Surat, Narmada, Chhota Udaepur, Vadodara, Dahod, Mahisagar and Aravalli districts. In the remaining districts, EVMs and VVPAT manufactured by BEL (Bharat Electronics Ltd) will be used,” Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat B B Swain said. This is the first time, ECIL machines are being used in an election in Gujarat, the official added. Of the total number of EVMs and VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) devices being procured for Gujarat polls, an estimated 25 per cent of them have been manufactured by ECIL. The EC will be getting 12,000 VVPATs units directly from ECIL. It will also be getting 21,200 ballot units (BUs) and 18,520 control units (CUs) — the two important parts of an EVM — manufactured by the firm, from other states like Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Asked about the reason for making distinction between EVMs procured from BEL and ECIL, Swain said that it has been made for ease of logistics. “Firstly, there is an issue of compatibility. EVMs manufactured by the ECIL are compatible with VVPATs by the same firm. Secondly, it also becomes easier for technicians from the company to access these machines if needed,” Swain added.