In almost every election in the recent past there have been complaints and question marks on the impartiality of the ECI. If these were murmurs earlier, during this election the voices are reaching a crescendo.
Among early voters in the state capital included Home Minister Singh, BSP supremo Mayawati, Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma and DGP OP Singh.
By being stubborn in its refusal to subject the EVM to a fair test of its frailties the ECI is allowing unnecessary speculation to build, among not just the political class but also the public.
The party said the EC should take all the necessary measures to secure the EVMs with proper safety protocol.
Modi, while addressing a rally in Jharkhand's Lohardaga, said the Congress-led opposition, which has been "hurling abuse" at him, was now talking ill of the EVMs after realising the "trend" of three rounds of voting in the general election, "just like a child who makes excuses to justify his under performance in exams".
Several opposition parties have raised doubts over the credibility and efficacy of EVMs and claimed that they can be tampered with and manipulated.
Polling in the third phase of Lok Sabha polls is underway in 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh.
Akhilesh ,who arrived here to file his nomination papers, said he has been apprised about EVM malfunction in Bulandshahr and some other places.
He said the electronic voting machines (EVMs) are not tamper-proof and Voter Verified Paper Trail (VVPATs) machines are not without their flaws either, he said adding that the Congress will bring back ballot paper if voted to power.
The seven-phase Lok Sabha polls began on Thursday with an estimated 9 crore people coming out to vote for electing 91 parliamentarians in the first phase of over-a-month-long polling exercise.
With a high number of 185 candidates, including 178 farmers, in the contest, the Election Commission used 12 EVMs in each booth in the constituency.
In many places electronic voting machines (EVMs) had glitches resulting in some delay in polling, an official said.
After the deadline for withdrawal of nominations ended on Thursday, a total of 443 candidates remained in fray in Telangana, with Nizamabad topping the list at 185.
This implies the Election Commission has to respond to an RTI application seeking the EVM either by providing it or refusing it under exemption clauses in the Act.
These machines would be deployed at the nearly 10.6 lakh polling stations across India in the next parliamentary elections.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, addressing the media after the meeting on Friday, said the issue of EVMs was discussed at length by the opposition leaders.
"We are not going back to the days of ballot paper. (The) EVMs have been in use in our country for more than two decades. And it has been a consistent policy of the ECI (Election Commission of India) for quite sometime and I think it will remain the same," Arora said.
"I had earlier said, and I once again say that these machines cannot be tampered with," he told a press conference here when asked about the concerns raised over EVMs functioning.
"However, I would like to make it very, very clear once more. In fact, it is not I, it is the entire ECI, it is the ECIs of the past, and it will be the ECIs of the future... we are not going back to the era of ballot papers," Arora said.
Amid raging debate over EVMs, which opposition leaders have been critical of, Kumar said he was not in agreement with the things said.
It said the reconfirmation by the Technical Experts Committee was made in the wake of the "motivated controversy" about electronic voting machines "attempted to be created" by Shuja.
A day after he was caught up in a row for attending the press conference by cyber expert Syed Shuja, who addressed it through Skype, Sibal hit out at Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, saying he has made an "irresponsible statement, not befitting the office he holds".
Naidu, the president of the Telugu Desam Party, said the EVMs were turning out to be a "big threat" to democracy and advised his party rank and file to be alert in view of the claims by "hackers".
"Why does a country like Japan, which is very advanced in science and technology, is not using the EVMs? The question should be raised among the nation's 130 crore people,” the SP chief said here.
The Congress has been raising concerns over the security of EVMs and has been demanding the return to the ballot system of voting.