Ready to use VVPAT machines during forthcoming polls: EC

Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat has said that Election Commission is ready for hundred per cent use of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines (VVPAT).

Talking to media Friday morning, Mr Rawat said, Election Commission has ordered 17.5 lakh VVPAT machines and received 10 lakh out of them by now.

He said, the rest will be received by November and the Commission is ready for 100 per cent use of VVPATs. Mr Rawat said, the commission is trying to minimise failure rate of VVPAT for future polls.

Chief election commissioner also ruled out the possibility of holding simultaneous elections to the state assemblies and Lok Sabha polls anytime soon.

He said, a legal framework is needed to be in place for holding simultaneous polls. Mr Rawat said, the lawmakers will take at least a year to frame a law that can be enforceable.

This process takes time. As soon as the bill to amend the Constitution is ready, Election Commission will know that things are now moving, he said.

On 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Mr Rawat said, generally, the poll body starts preparing 14 months in advance, the Commission has begun working for it in February.

He said, before Lok Sabha elections, there will be polls for Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram assemblies also, and the commission will conduct them in its stride.

On the hearing of a case in Supreme Court regarding candidates with criminal background, Mr Rawat said, the EC has submitted an affidavit supporting all steps to decriminalise politics.

He said, the poll body is of the view that criminals who have been convicted should not be allowed to seek electoral office.

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