Electronic Voting Machines Fraud: MCD Polls May be Delayed

MCD Election in Delhi. Photo of February 2017 by Rakesh Raman
MCD Election in Delhi. Photo of February 2017 by Rakesh Raman

Opposition parties must unite and hold citywide demonstrations to get the MCD election postponed till the Election Commission decides to hold the election on paper ballots.

By Rakesh Raman

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has been persistently expressing his concern over the possible voting fraud that is expected to happen in the upcoming MCD election by tampering with the electronic voting machines (EVMs).

While the Election Commission of India (ECI) maintains that the EVMs are foolproof, Kejriwal challenged Monday the ECI’s claims and said that he can show within 72 hours that the machines can be programmed to favour a particular party.

Demanding the postponement of MCD election till the paper ballot arrangements are made, Kejriwal alleged that Narendra Modi’s party BJP is indulging in EVM-based voting frauds to win various elections across the country.

[ Why You Must Not Trust Electronic Voting Machines in India ]

It is being alleged that Modi as well as BJP also won the 2014 Lok Sabha election by tampering with the EVMs rather than by actual voting in different parts of the country.

Kejriwal is not alone who has expressed doubts about EVMs functioning. Congress, led by its local president Ajay Maken, has also voiced its concern about the vulnerability of EVMs.

Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress fear that BJP will steal the MCD election from them by manipulating the EVMs. Their apprehension may be genuine, considering the fact that Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati also has complained about EVMs-based voting fraud in the recent Uttar Pradesh (U.P) election that BJP won last month with ruthless majority.

[ Congress Apprehends EVM Voting Fraud in MCD Election ]

Mayawati has said that similar rigging had happened in the 2014 Lok Sabha election also that Modi won to become the PM. It is believed that the last Lok Sabha election result would not have favoured BJP if the voting had happened on paper ballots.

Now it is argued that the so-called Modi wave was not driven by voters, but it was driven by voting machines. Obviously, BJP will always oppose paper ballots and any investigation into the misuse of EVMs. And it goes without saying that the ECI will always obey Modi.

[ एमसीडी चुनाव: क्या आप भी हैं दिल्ली के विनाशकारी नेताओं से परेशान? ]

Now, Kejriwal and Maken are spending sleepless nights as MCD polls are scheduled to take place on April 23. Congress leader Maken has demanded that the MCD election should be held on traditional ballot papers instead of EVMs. Similarly, Kejriwal also prefers ballot papers.

But, as it was expected, the election authorities have dismissed their demands and the voters will use EVMs to vote. In a statement issued Monday, the Election Commission said that a leader of a political party (it did not say Kejriwal) has made baseless observations and allegations in a press conference regarding the use of EVMs.

[ BJP May Win MCD Election with Electronic Voting ]

It is largely believed that if the MCD election is held on EVMs, BJP will win it because it is an experienced party to deal with EVMs.

However, if opposition parties such as Congress and AAP oppose EVMs, they must unite and hold citywide demonstrations to get the election postponed till the Election Commission decides to hold the election on paper ballots.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a government’s National award-winning journalist and runs free school for deserving children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.

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