BMC candidate’s claim of zero vote, at the centre of anti-EVM debate, turns out wrong

Shirsat says didn’t even get own vote, records show he got 11 in booth near Saki Naka residence

Written by Ritika Chopra | New Delhi | Updated: May 12, 2017 9:44 am
EVM tampering, evm issue, BMC polls, BMC candidate EVM tampering, EVM hacking, Shrikant Ganpat Shirsat, india news Shrikant Ganpat Shirsat claimed that he did not get a single vote from his own polling booth even though he had voted for himself, and demanded a repoll.

SHRIKANT GANPAT Shirsat, an independent candidate who contested the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls, made a sensational claim after the results were declared on February 23. Alleging tampering of electronic voting machines (EVMs), the 34-year-old claimed that he did not get a single vote from his own polling booth even though he had voted for himself, and demanded a repoll.

Over the last two months, Shirsat’s claim was quoted by political parties to level allegations of EVM hacking in the assembly elections of UP, Uttarakhand and Punjab. It was also the inspiration behind AAP’s live demonstration of hacking an EVM prototype in the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday.

But Shirsat’s claim doesn’t match the facts.

Speaking to The Indian Express on Thursday, Maharashtra’s Deputy Election Commissioner Avinash T Sanas said, “He (Shirsat) stood for election from ward number 164 in Saki Naka. His claim had prompted an inquiry and we discovered that Shirsat is enrolled as a voter at two polling booths. Contrary to his claim, he hasn’t got ‘zero votes’ at either of the two polling booths.”

According to officials in the State Election Commission (SEC) of Maharashtra, which conducts local body elections, Shirsat secured a total of 44 votes from ward number 164. Out of the 44 votes, he got 11 votes at booth number 29 and two votes at booth number 15.
“Since he lives in the same area as booth number 29, we presume he must have cast his vote there. So his claim that his own vote and that of his family and neighbours disappeared is not true,” said an SEC official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“Interestingly, Shirsat, in his February 27 complaint to the SEC, had made no mention of getting no votes in his own polling booth. He only said this to the media. In his letter, he has only raised suspicions over EVMs and demanded a repoll,” the official said.

When contacted by The Indian Express on Thursday, Shirsat said he did not wish to comment on the matter.

According to SEC officials, Shirsat’s name appears on the voters’ list along with those of his mother and father for polling booth 29 of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. He also registered as voter at polling booth 15 along with his brother and sister.

Sections 17 and 18 of the Representation of the People Act state that a person cannot be enrolled as a voter in more than one place in the same constituency or in more than one constituency.

On February 27, Shirsat was quoted by Mumbai Mirror as saying, “In the last assembly polls, I got 1,500 votes. Now, apparently, I have got 44, and from my booth, zero. I voted for myself, my family voted for me and so did my neighbours (on 90-feet Road in Saki Naka) — where did those votes go?”

On Tuesday, the day of AAP’s live demonstration, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “Questions are being raised about why we did not complain when we won 67 seats in Delhi. Yes, we did not complain then, nor did we raise questions about the 272 seats won by BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, or the Maharashtra and Jharkhand assembly polls. But when a candidate in the BMC polls pointed out that he did not get a single vote despite voting for himself, it made us think.”

The AAP also staged a protest outside the Election Commission’s office on Thursday; the poll panel has called for all-party meeting on Friday to allay fears
regarding EVM hacking.

Last month, a delegation of Opposition parties led by the Congress had met the three election commissioners to urge them to revert to the ballot system of voting on the ground that the accuracy of EVMs is questionable. The memorandum submitted by this joint delegation had also mentioned Shirsat’s claim of ‘zero votes’ as an example of EVM tampering.

Following the declaration of the UP election results on March 11, BSP chief Mayawati was the first to complain against the EVMs. She had alleged that large-scale EVM tampering had facilitated the BJP sweep in UP.

Later, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal challenged the commission to make the EVMs available to the party for 72 hours and claimed that “we will read the code and rewrite it too”.

(With inputs from ENS/Mumbai)

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

  1. A
    Atul Kumar
    May 14, 2017 at 9:12 am
    Why EC didn't clarify at that time ? Obviously, they have data at result day also , Oh ! they decided to change figures after it became big issue ?
    Reply
    1. H
      HOMER
      May 12, 2017 at 5:33 pm
      SHOULD WE BELIEVE A LOSER FROM A LOSER PARTY ?
      Reply
      1. V
        vish
        May 12, 2017 at 5:14 pm
        For spreading Lies and Insulting EC and EVM he should be punished as per Law.Spreading Rumors,Wrong information and willfull lies calls for a severe Punishment
        Reply
        1. A
          ak dev
          May 12, 2017 at 3:22 pm
          It's just Kejriwal, a section of English media is part of the EVM conspiracy. They have deadly combination to undermine the well respected EC. Kejriwal's politics is based on discrediting the public ins utions using repeated lies. He gets away as he is not punished for the crime he commits. EC has proved Kejriwal wrong repeatedly but has never taken action against him. Had Kerjiwal been from RSS, AAP could have been banned by now.
          Reply
          1. G
            gopal
            May 12, 2017 at 3:05 pm
            Why EC is not making probe. Is EC shielding Modi
            Reply
            1. H
              HOMER
              May 12, 2017 at 5:35 pm
              Because we the majority want MODIJI. And you the minority want a corrupt TRAITOROUS government to loot India!
              Reply
              1. A
                Atul Kumar
                May 14, 2017 at 9:10 am
                Majority (69 ) is against Modi's Vyapam , Nawaj-Birth day cake, looting India's money & giving them to few people (NPA doubled in last 15 months)
            2. K
              Kamal Pasha
              May 12, 2017 at 2:17 pm
              Corruptions, corruptions, coruptions. Everywhere coruptions.
              Reply
              1. S
                sampath
                May 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm
                AAP are a bunch of anti-national scoundrels who will stoop to any level to win including destroying established national ins utions like the EC. I once ociated with the India against corruption but now boycott them. Anti-nationals must be kept out.
                Reply
                1. J
                  JM
                  May 12, 2017 at 2:05 pm
                  Goebbels had said that a lie repeated 100 times becomes a truth. Apparently Kejri has studied his philosophy and has been a great follower. Fact of the matter is a lie has been spread by vested interests and many people have started believing it. However it is refuted, many people either will not know about it or not believe it. This is really regrettable that unscrupulous people like Kejri and his apologists take advantage of it. Election commission must go out of its way to bring the truth to public knowledge and expose these people. Second point arising out of it is - this worthy claims to have got 1500 votes in last election. In this election he got only 44 votes, meaning not even his immediate neighbours voted for him. This speaks volumes about his true worth. Kejri has stooped so low as to take help from such people! Instead of boasting about fighting election against the PM, he should fight election against this man.
                  Reply
                  1. H
                    HOMER
                    May 12, 2017 at 5:36 pm
                    Fortunately we are not as gullible and frustrated and poverty stricken and oppressed as the Germans were!
                    Reply
                  2. P
                    Parth Garg
                    May 12, 2017 at 1:48 pm
                    It was in fact the BJP leaders who raised the bogie of EVM being susceptible to tampering when Congress won twice earlier. They have even imported a IT expert to prove their claim. Now when they got the mandate the EVMs have become holy cows. Poetic injustice?
                    Reply
                    1. H
                      HOMER
                      May 12, 2017 at 5:39 pm
                      Dummy this machine is new! It was not in use when the CORRUPT kangress and Thier white widow waitress looter queen stole power from BJP ! But then one cannot expect a kangress supporter to be more intelligent than pappu! Ha ha ha!
                      Reply
                    2. B
                      BAPTY.s Seshasayee
                      May 12, 2017 at 1:47 pm
                      BAn such parties like AAP and their leaders for ten yrs. highly irresponsible tO make such Statements. E.C SHLD henceforth take a Legal undertaking from all major parties of India that they fully accept our Electoral norms and proceduRes and no such nonsensical complaints will be raised. E.c SHLD categorically reject all this, and in future ban such parties.
                      Reply
                      1. D
                        Damodar Biswal
                        May 12, 2017 at 12:32 pm
                        Action deemed fit should be take against this politician for speaking against the EVM which was not tampered with.Further he should not be allowed to contest any election in future if the law permit.
                        Reply
                        1. L
                          Liars Party
                          May 12, 2017 at 12:23 pm
                          Evm still to blame as it forced the honest man like all AAP partymen to lie
                          Reply
                          1. P
                            Prof Vijayan
                            May 12, 2017 at 12:09 pm
                            Those who spread false propa a against Election Commission should be dealt with firmly. These people are threat to our democratic system. Why media do not inquire about the authenticity of sensitive news inputs they get from sources outside their control? There is a general fee that media in India are showing undue interest in projecting negative news to lime light. Please try to regain our lost values and tradition to become a nation with citizens of high civic sense.
                            Reply
                            1. M
                              MSB
                              May 12, 2017 at 11:03 am
                              Put this man behind bars for spreading lies.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                shuaib ansari
                                May 12, 2017 at 10:51 am
                                put this news on top, stop hiding facts from people.
                                Reply
                                1. H
                                  HOMER
                                  May 12, 2017 at 5:41 pm
                                  The fact is we are united and we vote for BJP your unity has been neutered and made impotent! Learn to live with it! You can no longer enjoy appea t and pandering! Now you will.have to behave and be equal to the rest!
                                  Reply
                                2. H
                                  Hedonist
                                  May 12, 2017 at 10:20 am
                                  AAP was targeting Modi earlier Now they are attacking EC.
                                  Reply
                                  1. M
                                    Mahender Goriganti
                                    May 12, 2017 at 10:18 am
                                    Why EC is not making the con media that sell lies as facts by report the same without verifying?? and the person & parties who lie and debar them as recognized parties??
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      Mahender Goriganti
                                      May 12, 2017 at 10:16 am
                                      Did anybody notice how con media like Islamic express suppresses facts that they never force the culprits and lairs accountable and also go on to confuse people with nonsense?? That is the standard of of con journos and Media.
                                      Reply
                                      1. V
                                        VIVEK
                                        May 12, 2017 at 10:55 am
                                        That is way mainstream media is dying a slow death.
                                        Reply
                                      2. S
                                        Sudhirbharg
                                        May 12, 2017 at 10:03 am
                                        Such baseless debates on #EVMs can happen only in India with leaders like @arvindkejriwal
                                        Reply
                                        1. M
                                          Mayank
                                          May 12, 2017 at 9:57 am
                                          At least EC should ban this guy from contesting elections in the future for fake complaint questioning democratic process in the country.
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            Seshamani
                                            May 12, 2017 at 9:57 am
                                            One lie gives rise to so many ideas in so many people Which give rise to so many actions by so many people
                                            Reply
                                            1. Load More Comments