Even after the severe electoral drubbing in the hands of the BJP and its alliance partners (which won 352/542), none of the 21 Opposition parties, which had made a huge hue and cry over the reliability of Electronics Voting Machines, has blamed its defeat on the voting machine. For, none of them came across any mismatch between the votes registered in the EVMs and the paper trails in the corresponding VVPAT machines.
The Election Commission data also shows that VVPAT slips and the EVM count match was 100% as not single case of mismatch was reported from any corner of the country.
In the just completed elections to elect lawmakers for the 17th Lok Sabha, as many as 17.3 lakh VVPATs were used. Voters could see the paper trail of their vote immediately after voting. The Opposition wanted 50% of them matched with EVMs, but the Supreme Court had just raised the count to 5 machines against 1 (as done in the previous election) in each assembly segment. Hence, 20,625 VVPAT slips was to be matched as against 4,125 VVPAT slips in the 2014 elections.
But a day before counting, Opposition parties demanded with the EC that the matching should be taken up first and if any mismatch occurred, there should be 100% physical count VVPAT slips. The demand, though, was rejected.
Now with 100% match between VVPAT slips and EVM counts in 5 booths from each assembly segment, political parties need to rest their case against the voting machine.
Incidentally, Telugu Desam Party, headed by Chandra Babu Naidu, who aggressively led the anti-EVM campaign, has been routed in both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in his home state Andra Pradesh. It emerged winner in only 3 LS seats (out of 25) and 23 Assembly seats (out of 175).
At the same time, Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee, another strident voice against EVM could retain only 22 LS seats (out of 42) against her hope of improving the tally of 34 seats, won in 2014.