Escalating its crusade against use of Electronic Voting Machines in elections, the Aam Aadmi Party will take its fight to the doorstep of the Election Commission on Thursday. AAP also demands use of VVPAT-equipped voting machines in all future elections.
The AAP declared that its Delhi MLAs and senior leaders will lead a protest rally—‘Save Democracy Movement’ -- in front of the Election Commission office in Central Delhi around 11AM on Thursday.
Casting aside the poll panel’s assertion that EVMs cannot be manipulated, the party claimed that its MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj’s “live demonstration” in the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday had “conclusively proven” that EVMs can be rigged.
AAP Delhi convenor Gopal Rai told a news conference that the party would participate in an all-party meeting called by the EC on the issue on May 12 and decide the next course of action based on its outcome.
“The Commission in its response said we used a dummy and not an actual machine in yesterday’s demonstration. We request the EC to arrange a hackathon. We will show how its own machines can be rigged,” Rai said.
Apart from demanding that voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT)-equipped EVMs be used, the party will approach the EC with the request that votes registered in EVMs and paper trails of 25 per cent randomly chosen booths be tallied, Rai said.
The VVPAT-equipped EVMs dispense a paper slip which helps a voter confirm that his vote has indeed gone to the candidate of his choice.
Participating in a discussion on the issue during a day-long special session of the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday, Bhardwaj claimed that a voting machine could be manipulated by simply feeding it with a “secret code”.
Using what his party claimed was a “prototype EVM” developed by “a group of IITians”, Bhardwaj, himself an engineer, showed how it could be tampered with to favour a particular candidate.