Election Commission to Buy New VVPATs for General Elections 2019

Chief Election Commissioner Dr. Nasim Zaidi
Chief Election Commissioner Dr. Nasim Zaidi

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued a letter of intent for purchase of 16,15,000 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) at an estimated cost of Rs 3,173.47 crore during 2017-18 and 2018-19 from PSUs BEL and ECIL.

In its letter sent to CMDs of ECIL and BEL on Friday (21st April), the Commission has communicated its intent for purchase 8,07,500 VVPATs from each PSUs by September 2018.

These VVPATs shall be manufactured by both PSUs only as per the design approved by the Commission based on recommendation of the Technical Experts Committee on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) constituted by the Commission and comprising technical professors from IITs.

[ Editorial Section: Lok Sabha Election 2019 in India ]

The Commission will monitor the production of VVPATs for timely delivery well before General Elections 2019.

Explaining the importance of this step , the Chief Election Commissioner Dr. Nasim Zaidi said “This will enhance transparency and uphold the voters’ right to know which party he or she has voted, thereby increasing voters’ confidence in the free and fair electoral process.”

On 19th April, 2017, in compliance of the order of the Supreme Court of India and as per the recommendation of the ECI, the government had approved Rs 3173.47 crore for the procurement of 16,15,000 VVPATs to be used in ensuing elections and General Elections 2019.

Photo courtesy: ECI

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Rakesh Raman