New Delhi: In a bid to give a befitting reply to political parties who had alleged that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used in recent polls were tampered, the Election Commission has decided to hold a demonstration on the working of Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) and EVMs today. It will also announce dates for a EVM-hacking challenge in the wake of opposition concerns over the reliability of EVMs. The political parties and techinical experts will be given an opportunity to prove that EVMs can be manipulated, during the challenge.

While the BJP, CPI, CPI (M), AIADMK, DMK, NCP and JD(U) clearly supported the use of EVMs, several opposition politicians including Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) had alleged EVM-tampering in assembly polls but the commission ruled out such a possibility. Representatives of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Congress, Aam Admi Party, and Trinamool Congress had raised concerns over EVMs at the all-party meeting.

The AAP had welcomed the poll panel’s announcement of holding an EVM challenge but insisted on the ‘hackathon’. The party said given a chance, it can prove that the machines can be hacked.Mamata Banerjee-led the Trinamool Congress had demanded a return to paper balloting in the country.

In 2009, the Commission had held a similar challenge and it claims no one was able to tamper with its machines. Then 100 EVMs from various parts of the country were brought to Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi for the challenge.