The meeting between Election Commission (EC) and representatives of 55 political parties to discuss the issue of credibility of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) is presently going on in New Delhi.
In the meeting, the EC assured all political parties that EVMs were secured and could not be tampered with.
"The Chief Election Commissioner assured the reliability of the EVMs and asserted they were secured and cannot be tampered with," said JD(U) leader K.C, Tyagi who left the all party meeting midway for another engagement.
"After the CEC's address experts from IITs also sought to clarify doubts that many political parties have about the reliability of the EVMs. Let us see what is the outcome of this meeting," he added.
Meanwhile, BJP legislator from Rajouri Garden Manjinder Singh Sirsa said: "The EC today informed in detail about the security features of the EVMs and asserted that they cannot be tampered with at all."
"So far there have been 37 cases in various courts regarding EVM tampering. The judgements in 30 of those cases have come and all 30 have been in favour of the EVMs being tamper proof," the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said.
In the all-party meeting, the ruling BJP is being represented by Bhupendra Yadav , Om Pathak and GVL Narasimha Rao while the Congress is being represented by Vivek Tankha , Deepak Amin and Vipul Maheshwari.
Thw Aam Aadmi Party (BJP), which staged a demonstration on hacking a 'voting machine' in the Delhi Assembly, is being represented by Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Saurabh Bhardwaj, and Gopal Mohan.
Other prominent leaders who are attending this meeting are - Subhrita Bakshi (TMC) , Mukul Roy (TMC) , Shukhedu Roy (TMC), Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP), Anil Desai (Shiv Sena), Nilotpal Basu (CPI-M), Bappa Sinha (CPI-M), Amitav Sinha (CPI-M), D P Tripathi (NCP), Vandana Chavan
The EC has asked all the political parties invited in this meeting to bring one expert each as the Commission is also likely to brief the parties about its planned EVM hacking challenge.
The Commission has convened the meeting of seven national and 48 state parties to discuss the reliability of EVMs after 16 parties urged it to revert to the ballot paper system claiming faith of people in the machines has eroded.
Days before the proposed meet, the Aam Admi Party had staged a demonstration on hacking a 'voting machine' in the Delhi Assembly. The party had used an EMV prototype to make the demonstration.
The EC had trashed AAP's claim saying the 'machine is a look-alike and not the ECI-EVM'. The date of the proposed challenge would be decided after the all-party meeting.
Disqualifying candidates named in a charge sheet for bribing voters, making electoral graft a non-bailable offence and easing of rules to order counting of votes through paper trail are some of the other issues Election Commission will discuss with political parties tomorrow.
"The Election Commission has convened a meeting with all recognised national and state political parties on May 12 in New Delhi to discuss issue related to EVM and VVPAT.In addition to the EVM/VVPAT, the agenda will also cover 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," EC had said in a statement last week.