Delhi Civic Polls: Arvind Kejriwal wants MCD elections postponed, cites EVM tempering as reason
New Delhi : Alleging again that EVMs can be tampered with, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday blasted the Election Commission and said Delhi's civic polls should be postponed if need be to use the paper ballot.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader's attack came a day after the poll panel denied his earlier accusations of EVM tampering and asked him to introspect as to why his party lost the Punjab and Goa polls.
Referring to an Electronic Voting Machine in Madhya Pradesh found to have been manipulated, Kejriwal said this came from Uttar Pradesh and it raised questions about the BJP's sweeping win in assembly polls in that state.
He said all the 300 or so EVMs to be used in the April 9 by-election in Madhya Pradesh had come from Govindnagar constituency in Uttar Pradesh and demanded to know what was so special about those machines.
Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Satya Dev Pachauri won from Govindnagar by a whopping 70,000 votes.
The Election Commission, Kejriwal said, violated the law that EVMs used in an election can't be reused for 45 days because someone can challenge the result that may warrant an examination of the EVM.
"The machines used in Uttar Pradesh can't be used till April 26. I wonder what forced the Election Commission to use those machines.
"This raises questions even on the intentions of the Election Commission."
Delhi's civic polls are due on April 23 and a by-election from Rajouri Garden to the Delhi assembly will be held on April 9. Kejriwal said EVMs to be used in Rajouri Garden too had come from Uttar Pradesh.
Kejriwal insisted that paper ballot should be used in Delhi's civic polls to guarantee transparency.
"I cannot see any other option but paper ballot. Most developed nations have rejected EVMs and are using ballot paper. Why?"
And if the civic polls needed to be postponed to ensure the use of paper ballot, they should be postponed, he said.
Earlier, when the EVMs were defective, if a voter pressed the button for one party, the light for that would not glow. The voter would thus know the machine was faulty.
"But now the light glows correctly but the vote is recorded in the chip in favour of the BJP.
"So EVMs without VVPAT (paper trail) cannot be checked if they are defective or not."
Kejriwal said if EVMs are tampered with, then the whole electoral process would come under question.
"People are already losing faith in the electoral process. They are asking what is the use of voting... If this goes on, people will stop voting."
The AAP leader asked the Election Commission to make public the software used in the EVM machines along with the details of the company that manufactures chips used in these machines.
He also asked the Election Commission to hand over to the AAP the faulty EVM in Madhya Pradesh for 72 hours. "We have experts who will check if the chip can be rewritten or not.
"The software in the chips can be changed. This is happening on a large scale."