EVM row: All eyes on crucial 'EC all-party' meet today

Sixteen opposition parties had recently told the Commission that it should revert to the paper ballot system, claiming that the faith of the people has "eroded" in the machines. The EC subsequently pointed out that the hacking of any device that looks like an EVM does not mean that an EVM is hackable or has been hacked.

"Every keystroke on an EVM is time-stamped and we can show the EC that we have the technology to read it if given access to the machine", Bhardwaj said.

Asserting that Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray had urged to abandon EVMs, party leader Anil Desai hoped that the Election Commission will consider the matter seriously and take a fair decision in the regard. "Paper trail machines should be installed". In a memorandum submitted to chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi, the AAP demanded that the Assembly's resolution be implemented and expert panels of parties be allowed to inspect EVMs.

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Meanwhile, amid a raging debate over the reliability of EVMs, the Election Commission will meet representatives of 55 political parties tomorrow to put forth its stand on the issue.

The poll panel intends to use Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units attached with EVMs in the coming elections for greater transparency and to keep voters' confidence in the electoral process.

First, let's see what EC does and communicates to us.

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Bharadwaj, who had carried out a live demonstration of hacking an EVM prototype in the Delhi assembly on May 9, said on Thursday that the question was no longer if EVMs could be manipulated but whether the recent polls were rigged.

EC holds an all-party meeting regarding EVM issue and other Electoral Reforms, in Delhi on Friday.

Besides EVMs, the meeting is expected to deliberate on making bribery in elections a cognisable offence, disqualification on framing of charges for the offences of bribery in elections and suggestions in VVPAT recount Rules.

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Rai said in his letter to the EC that the live demonstration - done on a "replica of the EVMs used by the ECI" - had demolished the idea that voting machines used by it were tamper proof.

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