Mumbai: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday turned down the demand of opposition parties, which sought the use of ballot papers instead of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha polls.
“Ballot papers are now history and the Assembly elections will be held using EVMs only,” said Sunil Arora, chief election commissioner (CEC).
Following the defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, the Opposition parties had protested against the use of EVMs and demanded the re-introduction of paper ballot system for the Assembly polls. The ECI, however, ruled out the use of ballot papers contending that EVMs cannot be tampered with.
“We politely informed the political parties that the ballot papers are now history and it will not be possible to use it,” Mr Arora said, adding that the Supreme Court has also upheld the use of EVMs for the polls.
“This is a very serious issue. The EVMs can malfunction like any other machine but since it is a standalone machine, which can operate independently, it just cannot be tampered with,” he added.
Some of the parties had demanded the expenditure limit should be increased for the polls. Mr Arora, however, clarified that the ceiling would remain unchanged....