By Vandana Published 12 Apr 2019
A new batch of the much-touted tamper-proof EVMs launched right under the nose of the Narendra Modi government seems to come with the following options for voters to choose from:
1) BJP 2) BJP 3) BJP
Well, if vikas has not gone crazy (vikas gando thayo chhe), the EVMs used by the Election Commission in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh civic polls certainly seem to have.
Several voters were left flummoxed yesterday (November 22) when the votes they cast started going into the BJP’s kitty irrespective of which party they voted for in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district during the municipal elections.
BJP’s detractors at Meerut’s ward number 89 complained that the machines have been tampered with.
But haven’t they already been told that it is impossible to tamper with EVMs? Are they trying to take India back by a few decades after having graduated from the ballot paper system?
The story about BSP votes going to BJP gained traction with the emergence of a video showing a voter trying unsuccessfully to cast his vote for the candidate of his choice. Tasleem Ahmad claimed that his vote, cast “for haathi (elephant), was going to kamal (lotus)”.
“I voted for the BSP candidate. I am still holding the pressed button. The machine has recorded my vote as having gone to the BJP. I have been waiting here for an hour, but no solution has been provided so far,” a harried Ahmad can be heard telling the camera.
The poll officials solved the mystery in no time. “The machine was faulty,” officials said and replaced it too. Why was it defaulting in favour of the BJP? Well, that was sheer coincidence, we should know
Those who don’t believe in the integrity of the BJP should at least respect the high offices of the Election Commission of India and it has already given the last word on the matter, “It (EC) completely reaffirms its faith in the infallibility of the EVMs these are fully tamper-proof as ever.”
It doesn’t matter if the EC also reiterates the need to introduce the Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) to make the voting process more reliable. The Supreme Court did not ask for the implementation of the VVPAT because EVMs are not foolproof. It only means the system needs to be foolproof. We can take it to mean anything we like apart from, of course, alleging tampering. After all, the EC has been identified with professional integrity since long.
We are not getting into the reason why it delayed the announcement of the schedule for Gujarat polls, thus allowing PM Modi to rain sops on the poll-bound state, while it announced the dates for the Himachal Pradesh elections. That has nothing to do with the debate on voting machines.
And how does it matter if the Aam Aadmi Party cried foul over EVMsafter losing the Delhi Municipal Corporation elections. The party was being just a bad loser.
The poll panel has repeatedly told the doubters that EVMs are closed devices and not connected to the internet. On this count, it is impossible to tamper with them.
Yes, Germany did end electronic voting with “closed” EVMs in 2009 after voters challenged it in the German Federal Constitutional Court (German equivalent of the Supreme Court), but then we aren’t Germans. Yes, Japan experimented with the system, but did away with it without ever using it in any election. But then we aren’t Japanese either. We are Indians and we believe in the Election Commission.
The final word on the debate has been said – EVMs are tamper-proof. They just happen to malfunction in favour of the BJP. ( Daily O )