EVMs Have Done India Proud, No Question Of Going Back To Paper Ballots: Former CEC S Y Quraishi

EVMs Have Done India Proud, No Question Of Going Back To Paper Ballots: Former CEC S Y QuraishiShahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi at his office in 2010. (Photo by Sipra Das/India Today Group/Getty Images)

Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) are by and large foolproof and even in case of a malfunction, the machines are easily replaceable by standby EVMs, stated former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi in an interview with The Hindu. He also dismissed allegations of tampering or hacking and rejected the idea of going back to the paper ballot.

“There is no question of going back to the paper ballot. EVMs are good and they have done India proud,” he has been quoted as saying.

Quraishi said that there were about 20 lakh EVMs in operation, and it was possible that a few hundred or thousand of them could be faulty, but that there was an established protocol to replace them within half an hour after detecting the malfunction.

He spoke about how all political parties had attacked the EVM voting process, but over the last several years the political cycle of the same political parties losing and winning with EVMs had continued. He mentioned how the machines were heavily guarded by paramilitary and police personnel, and that the introduction of Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) should have further killed any controversy.

Quraishi also reiterated the Election Commission’s long-standing demand that politicians with serious criminal cases against them should be disqualified from contesting polls, calling for politicians with charges of heinous offences against them and facing more than five years in prison to be prohibited from contesting.

He also expressed dismay over the growing trend of giving hate speeches by politicians and stated that today’s leaders were actively involved in challenging the model code of conduct.