Introspect Punjab polls result, unfair to blame EVMs: EC to AAP

New Delhi: The AAP should introspect on the reasons for its defeat in Punjab instead of blaming EVMs, the Election Commission (EC) said on Sunday while making it clear that only a high court can order verification of votes cast in the polls with data of paper trail.

The poll watchdog also said that so far a total of 1111 allegations regarding tamperability of "ECI-EVMs" have been considered by the Commission and those have been dismissed by it as well, as various High Courts "unequivocally reiterating that given the effective technical and administrative safeguards, EVMs are not tamperable and integrity of electoral process is fully preserved."

In a strongly-worded letter, the EC said it is for the AAP "to introspect as to why your party could not perform as per your expectations and it is unfair on your part to attribute unsatisfactory poll performance of your party to the alleged tamperability of EVMS."

The poll watchdog said as per election law, after declaration of results only alternative available to verify the data of votes cast is to file an Election Petition before the High Court concerned.

The Aam Admi Party (AAP) alleged that poll authorities in Punjab had refused to accept its demand to tally results with paper trail audit.

The party had moved the Election Commission (EC) over reliability of the machines and the results of Punjab polls. AAP had won 20 seats out of 117 in Punjab assembly polls and emerged as the largest opposition party. However, the number fell way short of Arvind Kejriwal's claim of winning 100 seats.

The Commission said no credible material had been brought to the knowledge of authorities during and at the time of EVM "mock drills"  in Punjab elections to show alleged tampering in EVMs used in the state.

It said the Supreme Court had never cast any aspersion or expressed any doubt that election process is interdicted rigged by use of EVMs.

"The Commission strongly objects to this wrong and imaginary extrapolation of (the) Supreme Court's order. This may please be noted as a responsible political party," it told AAP.

It said, "any surmise based on foreign studies or operating system based EVMs used elsewhere would be completely erroneous. The ECI-EVMs cannot be compared with those EVMs and ECI-EVMs are tamper-proof."

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