Cannot replace EVMs at last minute, Anil Baijal tells Arvind Kejriwal

In his communication, Baijal said that due to time constraints, changing the mode of polling will not be possible and that preparations have already been made with huge logistics involved.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: March 17, 2017 6:30:50 pm
Arvind Kejriwal, Anil Baijal, Lieutenant Governor, EVM, electronic voting machines, ballot papers, indian express news New Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has told Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that replacing electronic voting machines (EVMs) with ballot papers for the upcoming MCD polls is not feasible.

In his communication, Baijal said that due to time constraints, changing the mode of polling will not be possible and that preparations have already been made with huge logistics involved. The L-G further said that he had also consulted the State Election Commission on the matter.

On the allegations made by Kejriwal about EVM tampering, Baijal cited examples from previous elections to reassure him that EVM voting is beyond tampering. Sources said the L-G also told the CM: “Polls have been conducted in 2007 and 2012, and the Assembly elections in 2013 and 2015 using EVMs, and no one doubted the results then.”

The L-G stressed that rules will have to be amended for shunning the EVMs, and it was not possible to make such changes given the time remaining for the polls. Earlier, the Election Commission had also said that the voting process is done in all fairness and that allegations of EVM tampering are ‘baseless’.

Baijal also reasoned that to take such drastic steps, such as changing the mode of polling, an equally drastic justification was needed. He added that amending rules to hold MCD elections, at a time when the election date has already been announced, will not be possible. Three MCDs will be going to polls on April 22.

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