The move by some parties in the Opposition to approach the Supreme Court again to demand verification of at least 50% of VVPATs with the electronic voting machines is odd (Page 1, April 15). It appears that the Opposition wants to disturb established democratic processes, such as stalling the checking of money power in elections and raising unwarranted doubts over the EVM which has shown its worth in terms of faster and error-free operations, thus enabling free and fair elections.
Does the Opposition want to return to an era of booth capturing and a troublesome ballot box system? Why this wicked and cunning intent to derail a working system?
The hue and cry being raised by some in the Opposition over the dependability of EVMs is strange. Will these leaders care to recollect that it was on the basis of these very EVMs that they were returned to power in States such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh? Do these leaders mean to say that the EVMs started misbehaving after the completion of Assembly elections? To the common man, the new and renewed demand sends out a signal that these leaders and parties are making accusations in anticipation of their defeat. While there is always scope for improvement in efficiency and transparency, making wild allegations does not help in creating a positive image
The move by some Opposition parties could have a snow ball effect. The continuous levelling of allegations about the credibility of EVMs could destroy the trust of the common man in the electoral process. It could discourage people from voting and have long-term implications on the voter turnouts. Also, the global perception that the most transparent electoral process takes place in India could be reversed. The Opposition has to understand the impact of what it is doing.
Technology always moves forward and the demand for paper-based votes is backward thinking. Instead the demand should be for incontrovertible proof of tamper-proof software. In the event of an EVM malfunctioning, there must be a foolproof spare EVM. This is where the ECI needs to be nimble and give no room for complaint. The electoral system cannot be subverted by wily politicians out to ensure their self-preservation. The poll code also needs to be reinforced.