Posts Tagged ‘EVM’
The BJP swept the February-March, 2017 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The instant reaction of BSP supremo Mayawati to her party’s miserable performance in Uttar Pradesh was that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were manipulated. Soon the Samajwadi Party and AAP leaders joined Mayawati’s outcry. Even some Congress leaders in Uttarakhand also started talking about EVM manipulation. Meanwhile, a discussion on the fragmentation of non-BJP votes in Uttar Pradesh had also started (the BJP got so many seats with a vote share of less than 40 per cent while the combined vote share of BSP and SP was over 44 per cent plus six per cent of the Congress share).
The subject of EVM manipulation has been cropping up almost from the time EVMs were introduced. A sort of campaign on this issue was launched by then Madhya Pradesh Congress President Suresh Pachouri after the 2008 Assembly elections which had returned BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan for the second term. A distraught Pachouri had threatened to expose EVM manipulations with the help of his “friends in the UK and the US”.
Before Pachouri could carry out his threat, Lal Krishna Advani jumped in the fray after the BJP lost the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and his dream of becoming the Prime Minister was shattered. He demanded discontinuation of EVMs and going back to the printed ballot papers. Advani’s demand was supported by the leaders of various parties like the AIADMK, CPI (M), Janata Dal (S) and the Lok Janshakti Party. Advani had the support of a bureaucrat also. Former Delhi chief secretary Omesh Saigal had surfaced to claim that he knew a secret code in the EVM, through which the machine could be programmed to transfer every fifth vote to a particular candidate. Petitions were filed in courts on the fallibility of EVMs, one of the most vocal petitioners being BJP’s Kirit Somaiya.
There was so much noise in the country that the Election Commission felt it had to do something. In August 2009, the Commission randomly obtained 100 EVMs from 10 States (Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh). The Commission invited political leaders, petitioners and other critics of EVMs and also made the media announcement that the EVMs would be kept in the Commission office for a specified period and anyone could come and show how these machines could be manipulated. No one did. The EVM bogey, though, has one merit. It keeps occupied the politicians who have been defeated in the elections and have nothing else to do at the moment.
We, the Indians, are adept at manipulations of all kinds. We are also adept at inventing a manipulation where none exists, if it helps our design. It is part of our nature to trade a myth as the fact.
It should, therefore, come as no surprise if some bright-brained pundit of electronics has found a key to manipulating the electronic voting machine (EVM) so as to programme it in such a way as to transfer all the votes, or a certain percentage of these, to a particular political party or a particular candidate in elections.
The one who has discovered the code to doctor the EVMs must necessarily be a “conscientious mercenary”. Prima facie, it is a myth because one can be either conscientious or mercenary and not both. I have invented this myth and want to trade it as a fact in the national interest. An Indian does not do anything but in the national interest. Didn’t Manmohan Singh pay crores of rupees to some Opposition MPs to purchase their votes during the “trust vote” in the national interest? Whoever has acquired the code to manipulate the EVMs is one who is above caste, creed, religious or political consideration. His (or is it her?) expertise is available on the first come, first serve basis.
For the 2008 Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, the EVM manipulator’s expertise was made available to Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan. Apparently, State Congress president Suresh Pachauri did not approach him (or her) first because of his own arrogance. He discovered his folly only after the results were out and the BJP, under the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chauhan, had returned to power for the second term. A distraught Pachauri threatened to expose EVM manipulations with the help of his “friends in the UK and the US”.
Before Pachauri could carry out his threat, the EVM manipulator was hired by Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh for the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP’s would-have-been Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani missed the bus this time, in spite of stacks of black money at his disposal (part of it was visible in his personal campaign over the websites in most of the countries).
Now Advani is ruing his failure to first approach the EVM manipulator, as Pachauri was after the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections. Advani may also be cursing Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan for not telling him on time that EVMs can be manipulated.
Advani’s plight is really pathetic; he seems to have lost faith in the future and present of India and is suggesting going back to the last century when the printed ballot papers were used and it took almost day and night to count the votes in a single Lok Sabha constituency. What a fall for a man who was running a high-tech campaign for Lok Sabha and was talking of nothing but smart phones and laptops not long ago! In this retrograde thinking, Advani has the support of the leaders of various parties like the AIADMK, CPI (M), Janata Dal (S) and the Lok Janshakti Party. They are all losers to the EVM manipulator.
After Advani’s dream of becoming Prime Minister was shattered, former Delhi chief secretary Omesh Saigal has surfaced to claim that he knows a secret code in the EVM, through which the machine can be programmed to transfer every fifth vote to a particular candidate. It appears that Saigal has got some (not the whole) clue to the EVM manipulator’s modus operandi. Why didn’t he surface earlier and help Advani is a mystery.
The Election Commission has, meanwhile, vehemently denied the possibility of the EVMs being doctored. Doesn’t every organisation issue denials if its bosses don’t like something, particularly if the organisation is headed by bureaucrats, serving or retired? What one understands is that all the victims of the EVM manipulation are planning, under the leadership of Advaniji, to take a group of experts from all over the world (Advaniji has agreed to defray their expenses from his black money fund) to the Election Commission to show to the Chief Election Commissioner, the two Election Commissioners, the Deputy Election Commissioner and the Commission’s legal advisers how the EVMs can be doctored. It is agreed that Omesh Saigal will be with them and given the first opportunity to show how every fifth vote can be transferred to a particular candidate. Advaniji is said to be consulting his astrologers for a “shubh muhurat” for this Great Exposure.