With nearly 80 appeals filed in the courts regarding tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM),senior BJP leader Kirit Somaiya on Friday said the state election commission should upgrade its EVMs with paper back-up for a fool proof system,like the central election commission.
Addressing an all-party meeting on EVM tampering allegation in the city,Somaiya,who had earlier taken up the case of possible tampering of EVMs in 2009,said correction and improvement in the EVMs is required for free and fair polls. With members from all parties present at the meeting,who had filed their contention in court,he said a joint committee must be formed by all these members to take forward the EVM tampering issue.
He said the unison of all party members is required to fight the irregularities. We welcome the Bombay High Courts decision for admonishing the State Election Commission for asking them not to keep a closed mind, he said. It was stated while hearing a petition alleging that EVMs can be tampered with and votes can be transferred through bluetooth and wifi.
A division bench comprising Justice VM Kanade and Justice PD Kode recently heard the petitions filed by defeated Congress candidates from Pune – Sangeeta Tiwari,Trupti Desai and Kiran Bartakke where they had accepted their defeat and wanted to ensure that EVMs are foolproof.
At the meet in Pune,Ravi Tiwari,husband of Sangeeta Tiwari said that software developers had appraoched them before the elections demanding money for EVM tampering so that votes can go to Tiwari. This shows that such tampering exists, he said. While activist and Congress candidate Trupti Desai,who lost in the election,said that she too had been approached by the people demanding Rs 30 lakh with Rs 8 lakh as advance if she wanted to win the elections.
Others present at the all party meeting to address the tampering issue included Yeshwant Shirke and Tatyasaheb Bhintade and Sachin More. Many pointed out that in Panel no 55 all the candidates from panel A and panel B were getting the same votes. This has been brought to the notice of the election commission, he said.
Somaiya further said that the election commission did not involve any political parties for conducting the randomisation of the machines or for even for the mock drill. If such incidents and police complaints have been filed why are the police not taking any cognizance of the matter, he asked.