Don’t use EVMs in Assam: AGP

Guwahati, Jan 22 (IANS) Believing that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are not tamper proof, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) Sunday said it will ask the Election Commission not to use them in any election in Assam.

The party got some support from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While the BJP has not opposed the use of EVMs, it said their transparency can be bettered by using a paper trail.
On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court said that EVMs, which have come to form the backbone of elections in India, are not “tamper-proof”.
The court said it was not impossible to tamper with the EVMs but added it was difficult to issue any directions to the Election Commission in this regard.
“We have been opposing the use of EVMs in Assam. A party delegation met the Election Commission before the 2011 elections in Assam and demanded to use paper ballots instead of EVMs,” AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowari said.
He insisted that the Congress came to the power in Assam only by tempering the EVMs.
Patowari said some European countries, the US and Japan had stopped the use of EVMs.
“The Congress government in Assam manipulated the EVMs in the last assembly polls and it is only because of that that it won over 70 seats,” alleged Hiten Goswami, a senior AGP leader.
“We have discussed the matter in our party. A delegation of the party will leave for Delhi soon to meet the Election Commission in this regard,” the AGP president said.
Assam BJP spokesman Siddhartha Bhattacharjee said: “We are not opposed to EVMs but have demanded that their transparency could be enhanced by using a paper trail. Ballots would not be an option as there is ample scope for manipulations in ballots too.”