- Congress says voting machines are gamed, wants return to ballot paper
- Congress ignores its result in Punjab when complaining of rigging
- Machines not rigged in 2 areas we won today: Karnataka Chief Minister
After the party won both constituencies in Karnataka that were up for a by-election today, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who flashed the victory sign for reporters, said, "In these two constituencies, EVM machines were not tampered." Selective criticism of Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs - alleging their manipulation in states that it lost, but certifying them in the places it has won - is doing little for the Congress' credibility as it campaigns for a return to voting by ballot paper, abandoned by India decades ago.
Last night, Captain Amarinder Singh, whose victory in Punjab in March yielded a rare prize in recent elections for the Congress, delivered a swift smackdown of his party's stand. "If EVMs, were fixed then I wouldn't be sitting here," he said. His declaration came after party colleague Veerappa Moily stated that it was foolhardy of the Congress to attribute losses to malfunctioning machines.
The Election Commission, which has repeatedly said the machines in use cannot be exploited by any party, has said it will hold a 10-day hackathon next month during which techies, political leaders and others so inclined can take a shot at proving them wrong.
The Supreme Court today, in response to a request by opposition parties like Mayawati's, has asked the centre and the Election Commission to explain the delay in buying VVPATS: voting machines that display a paper receipt that records the choice of the voter and is visible for a few seconds before it is dispatched into a sealed compartment. VVPATS- Voter-verifiable paper audit trail - give instant evidence that votes have been recorded correctly, but they are more expensive than EVMS, and the Commission says that for years, it has been waiting for the centre to release the funds- about 3,000 crores- needed to ensure the next general election uses only this advanced technology.