Agencies, New Delhi
Describing the protests by the Opposition over the alleged irregularities in the electronics voting machines as an ‘unnecessary controversy’, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the EVMs have been a ‘time tested’ system in the country.
Addressing a press conference to apprise the media of the decisions taken by the Union Cabinet which included approving an expenditure of Rs 3,173 crore for the use of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPAT) with EVMs, Mr Jaitley said, ”Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said two days ago that the protests over the malfunctioning of the EVMs is a manufactured controversy. EVMs have always been a time tested system in the country.
”The first time the EVMs were used for voting was during the Congress rule at the Centre. The paper trails were also used for the first time during the rule of the previous UPA government at the Centre.”
On the Opposition raking up the EVM issue, Mr Jaitley said, ”If you blame the EVMs after you are defeated in the elections, it does not mean that the EVMs are faulty.”
A delegation of the Opposition parties, led by the Congress, had approached the Election Commission, over its apprehensions of irregularities in the EVMs in the recently concluded Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and demanded that the voting in the coming assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh be held through EVMs attached with VVPATs and paper ballots.
They had also met President Pranab Mukherjee on the issue and had submitted a memorandum to him in this regard.