Were EVMs really rigged to ensure the BJP's win?

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Were EVMs really rigged to ensure the BJP's win in Delhi civic polls
Were EVMs really rigged to ensure the BJP's win in Delhi civic polls

New Delhi : Were EVMs really rigged to ensure the BJP's win in Delhi civic polls as alleged by the AAP?

May be not, if the vote share trend of the political parties in Delhi over the years is analysed. 

For the BJP, its dedicated voter base has remained more or less the same over the past nearly 25 years, according to electoral data since 1993 when voting for the Delhi Assembly was held for the first time.

According to the State Election Commission, the BJP garnered around 36 per cent of the total votes in the April 23 civic polls, followed by the AAP with 26 per cent and the Congress 21.

If the AAP's claim that the EVMs were "tampered with on large scale" is assumed to be true then the vote share of the BJP should have seen a significant jump.

Picture this: During the 2012 civic polls as well - the only other civic polls after the trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi - the BJP got over 36 per cent votes, winning 138 out of the 272 wards.

The average of the BJP's vote share in all assembly elections since 1993 is also 36 per cent.

During the 2015 assembly polls, when the BJP was humiliated by the AAP leaving it with just three of the 70 assembly seats, the BJP still managed to get over 32 per cent of the total votes.

Take a look at the vote share of the other parties:

In the 2015 Assembly elections, the AAP had got over 54 per cent votes while the Congress got around nine. This time around, the Congress significantly gained with a vote share of over 21 per cent, while the AAP vote share declined to just over 26 per cent, less than half of its 2015 vote share.

It appears that while the AAP's vote share has reduced, those gaining from it are the Congress, other smaller parties and the Independents.

Thus the AAP's claims of EVM tampering doesn't hold good on this ground, at least.

The other possibility is that the EVMs may not have been tampered with, while some of them may have possibly malfunctioned.

Delhi State Election Commissioner S.K. Srivastava said the machines used in the civic polls were in "good condition" and can't be tampered with.

State Election Commission officials told IANS that there was no such EVM which gave all the votes to the BJP or any single party.

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal has been one of the most vocal critics of the Election Commission over the issue and had been demanding elections by paper ballot, or at least using EVM machines with paper trail. 

The AAP has been repeatedly alleging that the EVMs had been tampered to help BJP win election after election.

Rejecting the AAP's allegations, the BJP said Kejriwal should learn to accept defeat.

"He (Kejriwal) was not ready to perform... He did not want to work with the central government. He did not understand the mood of the nation. The mood of the nation is 'Modi'," Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said.