Raising questions about the accuracy and reliability of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday named three specific polling booths in Punjab where he claimed that the number of votes polled for the party were less than the number of his party volunteers. Kejriwal cited the example of booth number 73 in Akhwana village in Sujanpur assembly constituency where AAP polled three votes, whereas seven party volunteers and their 17 family members claimed to have voted for the party candidate.
“In the same assembly constituency, in Gosainpur village in booth number 103 we got just two votes, whereas five party volunteers and their 27 family members are ready to sign an affadavit saying that they have voted for AAP. Similarly in Shri Harbogindpur booth number 213 in Khatana village, we got one vote, while five party volunteers were working tirelessly for us. If not anyone else, at least they would have voted for us. Where did all our votes go?” Kejriwal asked at a press conference here.
“The (poll) analysis has given rise to some serious questions that are important not just from the point of view of Punjab, but also from the larger view of our democracy,” he said.
“Not a single person expected the Akali Dal to get more than 6 to 7 per cent votes and their 30.6 per cent vote share is inexplicable. Common people, media persons, experts, all had sensed that AAP will sweep Punjab… Akalis being 6 per cent ahead of AAP is completely astounding,” he said, adding that he accepted party’s rout in Goa.
Kejriwal said that he would write to the Election Commission demanding tallying of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with the EVM count for 32 locations in Punjab. “Our aim is to ensure that in the future no such doubts are created in the minds of people. Hence we have one demand. The Supreme Court has ordered that the paper trail should be deployed in all elections through the VVPAT machines, but it has not been done yet. It was done in 32 places in Punjab and 20 places in UP and we demand that the EC should do a counting of this paper trail. If the results are the same then people will have full faith in the system,” he said.
“Even the Supreme Court has said that EVMs are prone to tampering. There could be internal issues too and we will introspect that. But first we need answers to our questions,” he said.