DUSU polls: Can EVMs be procured privately? Electoral officer's letter raises concerns

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal flags off concerns on Twitter

evms Representational image | File

The Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) election results were declared late on Thursday night. Like any recent elections, the counting of votes and result declaration were ridden with accusations of EVM tampering. 

However, the allegations took a new turn after the Chief Electoral Officer in Delhi clarified that the EVMs used in DUSU elections were not issued by the Election Commission and it "seems to have been procured privately". Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday flagged off concerns on Twitter regarding the same. 

On Wednesday, the counting had to be suspended for a few hours following glitch in the EVMs during the DUSU polls, but was resumed in the evening amid heavy police deployment.

This was followed by NSUI's lone winning candidate Akash Choudhary alleging on Thursday that fair elections were not conducted and data of seven EVMs were missing, and had demanded fresh polling. 

The document from the Election Commission, which surfaced in the social media on Friday, have once again reignited the debate surrounding EVMs. Questions are being asked about how could the Election Commission allow private manufacturing and buying of EVMs. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) manufactures EVMs for the Election Commission of India. Also, how do these EVMs differ from those supplied by the Election Commission?

It is important to note that Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had raised doubts about functioning of EVMs in the past, too, following which the Election Commission had invited all parties to an EVM 'hackathon' challenge. Prior to that, the AAP had famously demonstrated hacking of an EVM in the Delhi assembly.