The Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of tampering with Electronic Voting Machines to win the civic polls in the Capital. In the Delhi Assembly, they conducted a demonstration that attempted to show how an EVM could be rigged, allegedly without much effort.
They claimed to show how a machine that has been tampered with could easily pass a mock test. The demonstration was carried out by AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj. “All it takes to rig an EVM is changing the motherboard,” alleged the leader, who is also a software engineer. “All it takes is 90 seconds. The Election Commission’s inquiry report is an embarrassment to the organisation itself. Explains nothing. Similar case in Bhind and Dhaulpur.”
Meanwhile, the Election Commission told CNN-News18 that the polling body would not vouch for any machine that had left its security zone. Former Election Commission of India Chief Navin Chawla also questioned the source of the EVM used by Bharadwaj, reported Moneycontrol. AAP also invited leaders of other Opposition parties including the Trinamool Congress and Janata Dal United to the Delhi Assembly to watch the demonstration from the visitors’ gallery, according to NDTV.
Soon after proceedings began, one of the BJP’s four legislators was thrown out of the House: Vijender Gupta was escorted out of the Assembly by marshals for creating ruckus. Gupta protested, claiming that the demonstration was merely an attempt by the AAP to divert attention from its recent troubles. “[The] CM was in know of a Rs 1,000-crore scam,” he said. “Arvind Kejriwal and Satyendar Jain are hand in hand in all this. Jain should be arrested. How is this a democracy if they will not allow me to speak in the House?”
Kapil Mishra, the former Delhi minister who was was sacked recently, also made similar allegations. He told NDTV that the alleged EVM tampering was being brought up to distract people from the AAP’s current crisis.
The Election Commission has called an all-party meeting on May 12 to discuss the controversy surrounding the alleged tampering of Electronic Voting Machines. The controversy over EVM manipulation began after the results of the Assembly elections in five states were declared in March. It gained momentum after the Delhi civic polls, which the Bharatiya Janata Party won by a large margin, and the AAP blamed the EVMs for their loss.
Ahead of the civic polls in Delhi, Kejriwal had said that he feared the machines will be tampered with. The AAP chief said he had three reasons for his “fears”. “One, pre-2006 EVMs without security features are being used in Delhi. Two, these EVMs have no VVPATs, and three, the EVMs are coming from Rajasthan,” he said during an interview with IANS. He also claimed he was a “100% sure” that the EVMs had been botched up to prevent AAP from winning the Punjab Assembly elections earlier this year.
Kejriwal had been campaigning for the polling monitor to switch back to using the paper ballot system. His demand has been supported by all major Opposition parties. On April 11, as many as 16 Opposition parties had written to the polling monitor alleging that the tampering of EVMs had created a “deep-seated trust deficit” on their reliability.