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Election Commission to meet 55 parties today, ahead of EVM hacking challenge

New Delhi: In the wake of doubts repeatedly raised by many opposition parties on the reliability of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the Election Commission will on Friday meet representatives of 55 political parties to put forward its stand on the matter.

The EC will convene the meeting of seven national and 48 state parties to discuss the reliability of EVMs after leaders of 13 parties met Election Commission officials in April to convey their “complete loss of faith” in the EVMs and to demand use of VVPAT (voter-verified paper audit trail) and paper ballots in future polls.

During the much-awaited meeting, the Commission is also likely to brief the parties about its planned EVM hacking challenge. The date of the proposed challenge would be decided after the all-party meeting.

Some parties have demanded they be allowed access to the machines used in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.

Disqualifying candidates named in a charge sheet for bribing voters, making electoral graft a non-bailable offence and easing of rules to order counting of votes through paper trail are some of the other issues Election Commission will discuss with political parties today.

Days before the proposed meet, the Aam Admi Party had staged a demonstration on hacking a ‘voting machine’ in the Delhi Assembly. The party had used an EMV prototype to make the demonstration.

The EC had trashed AAP’s claim, saying the ‘machine is a look-alike and not the ECI-EVM’.

On Thursday, the Aam Aadmi Party threw a fresh challenge before the poll panel and said that given a chance it could prove how voting machines used in the Assembly polls were pre-programmed to favour a particular party.

AAP lawmaker Saurabh Bharadwaj urged the Election Commission to form a panel of representatives of all political parties and experts from the poll panel to examine EVMs.

(With Agency inputs)

Source: Zee News