oppn parties Now, EVMs Are the Culprits for BJP's Popularity

News Snippets

  • S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, says Pakistan should release and repatriate Kulbhushan Jadhav immediately
  • Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala asks the Speaker to hold the trust vote latest by 1.30 pm today
  • The Government sends a list of 24 questions to mobile app company that runs video app TikTok seeking answers for anti-national and obscene content carried on the platform
  • Sarvana Bhawan founder P Rajagopal, serving a life term for murder, dies in a Chennai hospital
  • SC allows time till July 31 to the Ayodhya mediation panel
  • IT department attaches "benami" plot worth Rs 400cr in Noida. The plot allegedly belongs to BSP leader [email protected]@@s brother and his wife
  • Dawood [email protected]@@s nephew, Md. Rizwan Iqbal, was arrested from Mumbai airport as he was waiting to board a flight to Dubai
  • Trouble brews in Bihar JD(U)-BJP alliance as Bihar police asks special branch officers to keep tabs on RSS activities
  • Trust vote in Karnataka assembly today. With rebel MLAs deciding to stay away after the SC order, the Congress-JD(S) government is likely to fall as it does not have the numbers
  • Amit Shah says the government will identify and deport illegal immigrants from all parts of the country
  • Reports from Pakistan confirm that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to jail
  • After the SC order, Karnataka Speaker says he will go by the Constitution in deciding on the resignations of the 16 MLAs
  • Rebel MLAs say they will not attend the trust vote on Thursday
  • Supreme Court rules that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the assembly and vote in the floor test
  • Both the Centre and the Assam government have sought re-verification of up to 20% of draft NRC data
International Court of Justice agrees with India, stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution. It asks Pakistan to allow consular access to the accused.
oppn parties
Now, EVMs Are the Culprits for BJP's Popularity

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
First it was Mayawati who alleged that the EVMs were doctored to facilitate the BJP win in UP. Now both Arvind Kejriwal and Ajay Maken are against EVMs being used in the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) elections. In between, some small fry’s in Punjab also made some noises about paper trails not matching the number of votes recorded in EVMs. Isn’t this a direct assault on the independence and integrity of the Election Commission? Why can’t some politicians in India digest the fact that the people have rejected them? Why do they always try look for excuses for their failures?

It is impossible to doctor EVMs on the scale that is being alleged. There is a possibility that some EVMs can be doctored by a group of bribed or brainwashed officials, but getting all or most of the EVMs across the state doctored is something that cannot be even thought of, let alone carried out. It will involve a lot of people and the chances of leaks, especially with the ever vigilant media breathing down the neck, will deter any government or political party from taking the risk.

Further, with the election process the sole domain of the Election Commission (EC), an autonomous Constitutional body with enormous powers, tampering with EVMs on an institutionalized basis is just not possible. The EC does not, and has not been found, to play favourites. Although the EC has said that the EVMs in India are perfect and infallible, apart from studies it has commissioned itself, it has not allowed outside experts to verify the fact. Hence, some experts have questioned the infallibility. But none of them have said or proved that all of India’s nearly 1.5 million can be so doctored as part of a conspiracy.

Kejriwal and Maken are demanding that paper ballots be used for the NDMC elections. Do we want to go back in time? The answer to fallibility of technology is not to revert to outdated processes but to apply advanced technology and/or common sense to rectify the fault. The EC conducts random checks on EVMs before any election to verify their working conditions. These checks follow several guidelines which check on buttons, hardware and software. Representatives of political parties can be made a part of this exercise so that they can satisfy themselves on the working of the EVMs being used in any election.

Lastly, Kejriwal did not gripe when he swept the Delhi elections with the same EVMs. His crusade was at its height then and the losing BJP could have easily alleged that he had radicalized security agencies to allow software engineers in strong rooms to tamper with the EVMs. Similarly, no one is alleging that the EVMs in Punjab were doctored. If doctoring voting machines was the sole preserve of the ruling combine, the SAD-BJP combine could have easily done so in Punjab. The people of a state know who they have voted for. The people of UP and Uttarakhand voted for the BJP and the people of Punjab voted for the Congress. Hence they are not surprised or outraged at the results. If EVMs were tampered with on a large scale to return a result radically different from the voting preferences of the people, there would be a popular uprising, without any instigation from vested interests. The current allegation by Mayawati just shows how she is unable to accept defeat gracefully. The demand for paper ballots by Kejriwal and Maken, on the other hand, shows that they follow double standards – EVMs are good when they throw up results in their favour and bad when they do not.