EVM Manipulation Issue Raised Again in Bihar Assembly Election

The Electoral Officials carrying Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for counting, at a Counting Centre of General Election-2019, at CWG Village, Sports Complex, in Delhi on May 23, 2019. Photo: PIB (file photo)
The Electoral Officials carrying Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for counting, at a Counting Centre of General Election-2019, at CWG Village, Sports Complex, in Delhi on May 23, 2019. Photo: PIB (file photo)

The Election Commission (EC) has asked the political parties in Bihar election to release the details of criminal cases of their candidates.

By Rakesh Raman

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) – CPI(M) – has raised concerns about the functioning of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the real situation of polling during the upcoming Bihar Assembly election scheduled to take place between 28 October and 7 November, 2020.

In a statement issued today (October 9), CPI(M) has urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to remove the anomalies in the use of EVMs and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).

The Communist Party says that contrary to Supreme Court direction, the safeguard regime for eliminating the possibility of a foul play, the VVPAT has been used, not for ensuring transparency but to introduce a new element of uncertainty.

The Party has listed a number of areas where the EVMs and VVPAT records can be manipulated to change the outcome of the election. It has urged the ECI to ensure the integrity of machines so that election fraud can be avoided.

Major opposition political parties in India have been repeatedly complaining about the vulnerability of EVMs. It is also being observed that when EVMs malfunction, they vote only in favor of PM Narendra Modi’s party BJP, which runs with Lotus election symbol.

However, instead of rejecting the EVMs and forcefully demanding the elections on paper ballots, the opposition parties willy-nilly accept EVMs and after losing the elections they keep blaming these machines.

Most opposition leaders are so weak and naive that they do not understand the functioning of EVMs and how they are manipulated. So, finally they accept the election results.

Last year, the Association For Democratic Reforms (ADR) – a leading election research organization in India – had filed a petition in the Supreme Court regarding flaws in using EVMs in Indian election.

The petition had urged the court to direct the ECI to conduct actual and accurate reconciliation of (votes) data before the declaration of the final result of any election.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission (EC) has asked the political parties in Bihar election to release the details of criminal cases of their candidates. However, since most political outfits are full of criminals, they are reluctant to follow the EC directive.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.

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Rakesh Raman