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BJP chief Gadkari speaks on EVM controversy

February 12, 2010 15:09 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party chief Nitin Gadkari on Friday said his party was not against Electronic Voting Machines or the use of technology in elections, but wanted paper back-up, as it had not been proved conclusively that EVMs were tamper-proof.

"The system should be modernised. We are not against modernisation or against EVMs but only want paper back-up," Gadkari said at the launch of Democracy at Risk, a book on EVMs and their susceptibility to tampering by psephologist G V L Narasimha Rao.

Gadkari insisted that reservations about EVMs were not confined to the BJP alone and many other political parties, including the Orissa unit of the Congress, were wary of its use.

"On the one hand, we say voting percentage should be increased and voting should be made mandatory and on the other hand, people cannot vote (due to tampering of EVMs). This is not a problem of voting alone but a problem related to Indian democracy," Gadkari said.

Rao said he is closely watching a case being heard at the Delhi high court on the issue and if the verdict is not satisfactory, he may file a fresh case. He is also in touch with leaders from the Left parties and the Telugu Desam Party, among others, on the issue as they have expressed doubts on EVMs being tamper-proof.

"It is a blatant lie that EVMs are tamper-proof. I think the use of EVMs on a national scale is illegal," Rao said.

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