Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday urged the Election Commission to investigate cases of “faulty” EVMs and ascertain if their software can be tweaked “in favour of the BJP”. Kejriwal met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and also demanded ballot papers be reintroduced in the country.
The Election Commission’s claim that EVMs cannot be tampered with is completly “wrong”, Kejriwal asserted.
The CM’s remark comes a day after some media reports suggested that Voter-verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine was dispensing slips of BJP symbol only, irrespective of the button pressed, during a demonstration exercise in Bhind, Madhya Pradesh.
VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box but the voter cannot take it home.
An Assembly bypoll is due in Bhind next week and the demonstration was part of the familiarisation exercise.
Kejriwal said if EVMs can be tampered with, it poses a very “serious question” on the democracy in the country.
“We have been repeatedly saying that EVMs are being tampered with at large scale. The yesterday’s incident (in MP) shocked everyone and raised a question whether elections are being conducted in a fair manner,” Kejriwal told reporters after the meeting.
He also sought to know how it is possible that EVMs record votes in favour of BJP candidates whenever a fault is detected in the electronic voting machines.
“EVMs may be faulty, but every time they record votes for the BJP and not for the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and other parties…the incident in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind district was not the only one.
“In Assam too, there was a recent case of EVM being tampered with,” Kejriwal claimed.
He said he understands that when an EVM behaves wrong, it means that there is a problem either in its hardware or software.
“Before every election, demonstration exercise of EVMs are conducted in presence of political parties’ representatives. If one EVM behaves wrong, it is changed. I want to know why all EVMs to be used in the upcoming polls are not checked (before political parties),” he said.
After Punjab Assembly poll results, Kejriwal had alleged that EVM tampering may have led to AAP’s poor showing there and had said it could be part of a “conspiracy” to keep the party out of power in the state.