Mumbai: EVM tempering has been a long standing issue in the Indian polity. When the BJP was in the opposition it had claimed many a times that EVM tempering was rampant under the Congress dispensation. A prominent BJP leader went on to write a voluminous book on the issue.
But the issue of the tempering of electronic voting machine has popped up like never before in the aftermath of a string of BJP victories across the country. The ruling party at the center is now in power in more than 20 states across the country, almost completely marginalizing the Congress party that used to rule the nation.
Following massive wins for the saffron party in UP where it broke almost all the previous records and won more than two third win in the crucial state, decimating the opposition and similarly impressive win in Uttrakhand, the BJP is being accused of tempering the voting machines.
But the BJP and election commission have denied all such accusations. Nonetheless, a local election in Buldhana, Maharashtra, showed that in the case of a particular EVM when the name of an independent candidate was pressed, the vote went to the BJP. While there have been such instances in Madhya Pradesh and elsewhere, the Buldhana incident has been proved without doubt.
The incident has once again given strength to doubts about the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) assertion that the EVMs were tamperproof. The EC had even issued an open challenge last month to hack EVMs.
Reports suggest that the issue was reported during district council election in the Lonar tehsil, in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district. According to reports by the district collector and returning officers of Buldhana district, votes cast for an independent candidate had gone to a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate at a polling booth in Sultanpur village.
When the supporters of the independent candidate raised voice, the polling had be stopped and local officials asked for the EVM to be replaced. In a report to the State Information Commissioner, the Buldhana district collector admitted the machine had malfunctioned. This information was recently obtained by RTI activist Anil Galgali.