The Congress became the current party to demand a ban on electronic voting machines (EVMs) on Wednesday, two days later Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal quired the BJP’s election win in Uttar Pradesh, asking the Election Commission to discharge the devices for an inquiry into tampering allegations.
During a fiery debate in the Rajya Sabha over the use of EVMs, Leader of hostility Ghulam Nabi Azad said “EVM should stop right now. In the looming civic polls of Delhi, assembly polls in Gujarat and other states EVMs should not be used.” The opposition parties had vocal about the alleged operation in the EVMs after the latest round of assembly elections. The BJP wrenched Uttar Pradesh with a full majority. The House was adjourned briefly amid protests.
“If there is a software development in the chip, the BJP will win. “Mukhtar Naqvi and BJP leaders Prakash Javadekar rejected the charges,” said the Samajwadi Party’s Naresh Agarwal. Naqvi said, “there is no logic behind this assertion. EVMs used in Bihar, in 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha polls. When SP victoried in UP, the votes were cast in the same EVMs.”
The Election Commission has discharged the assertions and said its systems were tamperproof. It queried the AAP to introspect on its poll performance in Punjab, instead of blaming the EVMs a comment that Kejriwal and other leaders have bristled upon. Kejriwal’s party came to a distant runner-up, bucking projections that it will force start the next government in Punjab, the party’s second after New Delhi.
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The Congress too joined the anti-EVM chorus after a purported video of an EVM examined ahead of by-polls in Madhya Pradesh to show the paper trail attached to it generating an account for the BJP. Saleena Singh, the state chief electoral officer, had pressed the button for the Samajwadi Party candidate.
A voter verified paper audit trail or VVPAT enables a citizen to know if the machine registered a vote for the selected candidate. The slip is perceptible for seven seconds before its releases into a box. Kejriwal’s said his “experts” could show in 72 hours how the machines could be tampered to suit a political party.