NEW DELHI: Urging members across the political spectrum to initiate a debate on the “sanctity” of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in India “which are the easiest to hack”, BJP president Nitin Gadkari said paper back-up during elections was “necessary”. Launching the book Democracy At Risk-Can We Trust Our Electronic Voting Machines? penned by BJP national executive member GVL Narasimha Rao, Shri Gadkari said, “EVMs are problematic and cannot be trusted fully. Thus, paper back-up is necessary.” “Time and again, leaders cutting across party lines have felt the need to address this issue but it is the Election Commission which should take the first step,” he added. Stressing that credible voting and counting were the ingredients of a healthy democracy, he said, “I quote international experts when I say that our EVMs are the easiest to tamper with. Even the EVMs discarded and later banned by the Netherlands and Germany were better than ours.”
Nitin Gadkari said that his party is not against the use of new technology like the EVMs but said that the credibility of the machines is still questionable and hence it is necessary to have paper back-up. Shri Gadkari said, “The system should be modernised. We are not against modernisation or against EVMs but only want paper back-up.”
The book speaks about EVMs and how prone they are to tampering.
According to Shri Gadkari, even other parties were skeptical about the use of EVMs including the Congress members in Orissa. In fact, Shri Rao is said to be in touch with the Left parties and the Telugu Desam Party as they too shared their insecurities about the EVM system.
Shri Gadkari said, “On the one hand, we say voting percentage should be increased and voting should be made mandatory and on the other hand, people cannot vote (due to tampering of EVMs). This is not a problem of voting alone but a problem related to Indian democracy.”
Shri Rao said that if the verdict of the Delhi High Court is not fully satisfactory then he may file the case again.
He said, “It is a blatant lie that EVMs are tamper-proof. I think the use of EVMs on a national scale is illegal.”