- Kejriwal demands introduction of paper ballot for all EVMs in future elections
EC must admit EVMs can be tampered with and find those responsible for tampering
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) today after a shocking video emerged yesterday of a faulty Electronic Voting Machine recording votes only for Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), irrespective of which button was being pressed. The video is of Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Saleena Singh demonstrating a VVPAT-enabled EVM to journalists, before the April 9 by-poll scheduled in Ater, MP. In the video, buttons representing BJP, Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) were pressed, with all three attempts resulting in BJP’s symbol Lotus being displayed by the VVPAT unit.
Addressing the media after meeting the CEC, AAP National Convener Arvind Kejriwal said, “Are elections still being conducted independently in this country? Are the people of India voting for their choice of nominee, or is the machine deciding their votes? Cases like the one from Madhya Pradesh were reported during Assam elections and even during Delhi Cantonment Board elections in the past. It could be that some machines are indeed faulty. But how is it that all faulty machines only register votes in favour of BJP? Why do we never find ‘faulty’ machines’ that record votes only for other parties like Congress or SP?”
CM Kejriwal asserted that all evidence was pointing to only one conclusion, which is that the machines are being tampered with. “EC keeps reiterating that EVMs are tamper-free. But these reports make it clear that not only is the EC’s claim incorrect, the EC is also brushing such cases under the carpet. Why do they not order any investigation into why certain machines behave in this manner? Who is changing the software and writing faulty code for the chips used in the machines? We demand that the EC set up a probe and find the cause of these EVMs only registering votes in favour of the BJP, said Mr Kejriwal.
Mr Kejriwal also raised questions over the conduct of elections for the upcoming MCD polls for which over 12,000 EVMs will be used. “Before elections, the EC invites parties to inspect some machines and replaces some which are found faulty. Every single EVM must be checked from now onwards. If some EVMs can be faulty, many others may also be tampered with. These reports are shocking and raise doubts about the essence of democracy in this country. This means that if this continues, no matter who people vote for, the lotus will bloom out of the muck of EVMs,” said Mr Kejriwal.
Even in Assam and MP, no checking for cause of fault. Who is changing the software and how is not being checked
The Aam Aadmi Party has demanded that paper ballot enabled EVMs be used for elections henceforth and a probe be launched into the cause of faulty EVMs.