Kolkata, June 2: Ruling out any possibility of bringing back ballot papers for elections, Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat on Saturday said the EVMs were being made a ‘scapegoat’ as the machines cannot speak and political parties needed to blame someone or something for their defeat.
“There is absolutely nothing about the integrity of the system… However, time and again whenever there are eruptions on this, we clarify the issue,” Rawat said at an interactive session on “Electoral Integrity and Role of Money in Elections” organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) here.
He said the panel had last July announced at an all-party meeting that all elections henceforth would be conducted using EVMs coupled with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines.
VVPAT is also being used along with EVMs for enhanced transparency and credibility in the voting process, he said.
“EVM has been made an easy ‘scapegoat’ by political parties because it cannot speak and political parties need to blame someone for their defeat,” he said, and claimed that India’s conduct of free and fair elections was admired all across the world.
“It is creditworthy that despite such a large electorate, the Election Commission is able to publish results in just a few hours.”
Referring to a survey conducted in 2014 by Harvard University and Sydney University on elections held across the world, he said it found that India did well in nine out of 11 indicators and it ended with an overall score of 59 out of 100.
India’s position slipped somewhat due to its performance on just two indicators, namely money and media-based news (including fake news and social media).
“Comprehensive measures were being taken to eliminate use of money and muscle power in the elections,” he said.