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EVM challenge on after Uttarakhand HC dismisses PIL

New Delhi/Nainital: The Election Commission (EC) on Friday said its much-hyped EVM challenge is “on” as scheduled on Friday after the Uttarakhand High Court rejected a plea questioning the constitutionality of the move. “The EVM challenge is on as scheduled. The NCP and the CPI-M have nominated three persons each for the challenge,” an EC spokesperson said.

He said the two parties will get separate halls to try and tamper with the machines. The challenge will take place between 10 am and 2 pm.

The challenge was organised after several major Opposition parties had claimed that the faith of people in the machines had eroded. The Bahujan Samaj Party and the Aam Aadmi Party had alleged the machines used in the recent Assembly elections were tampered with and favoured the Bharatiya Janata Party. Later, several other parties had joined the chorus and wanted the EC to revert to paper ballots.

The EC has pulled out, from its strong rooms in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand, 14 electronic voting machines used in the recent Assembly polls there for the challenge.

The NCP and the CPI-M were the only parties, which had applied to participate in the challenge. The poll panel had invited the seven national and 49 state parties recognised by it for the challenge. It had left out smaller parties and independents who contested the recent polls from participating. Even foreign experts are barred.