BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has already declared himself a winner of the 2014 general elections, and pronounced that the people have already given their verdict in his favour and for good reason? We see that an electronic voting machine (EVM) when tested publicly in Jorhat was only recording BJP votes, whatever symbol, you press the button for.
AAP Bhandara team found 27 EVM’s that vote only for Praful Patel irrespective of da button pressed. Stay tuned 4 more details. #AAP4Honest
— AAP – Maharashtra (@AAPMaharashtra) April 7, 2014
Today first EVM machine was checked by election commission n vote was going to BJP upon pressing any button. Hahaha Modi Ji full tayyari hai
— KRK (@kamaalrkhan) April 3, 2014
The Election Commission, at least this time appears to be behaving in an obviously partisan manner, determined to secure a victory for the saffron brigade. Did we ever hear of the voters’ registration being carried out even after the announcement of elections. RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohanrao Madhukarrao Bhagwat had ordered his Sangh volunteers to ensure 100 per cent registration of voters (mind you, his variety) and 100 per cent turn out at the polling booths on the voting day. So the process is still on except that all the forms carried by the Sangh volunteers are immediately accepted and registered as voters, with no attempt at verification. On the other hand when activists from Okhla, Jamia Nagar and neighbouring Muslim majority localities turn up with forms they are made to run around and an activist recounted not even five forms are being processed in a day. And its not just Muslims, my maid a Hindu scheduled caste living in the jhuggi jhonpris of Jasola, has been trying for last three years, she has a Aadhar card, but every time she and about seven members of her extended family tried registering in the electoral rolls and procure a Voter I card they failed, because obviously she and her family members are not dependable BJP voters. Thus the anti-Modi camp is starting with a severe handicap, thanks to the bias of the Commission favouring the saffronite Hindutva camp.
There was an interesting news item in the Times of India from Mumbai, dated March 31, which stated, “EC wants people to vote for candidates who are pro-development and well-educated and has also asked people to beware of those who indulge in corruption.”
EC has put up posters and dispatched around three lakh letters to this effect in the city itself and another five lakh to the suburbs. People are being asked to have to sign and submit these to ward officers or election officials or at the polling booths. Besides ward officers and staff at the collector’s offices, the help of residents’ welfare associations and various NGOs is being taken to distribute these letters,” to acknowledge that they have received these letters. Next they may even be asked to submit an affidavit to swear they would abide by the EC directive. By urging people to vote only for the educated elite, the chief election commissioner V S Sampath is in effect repudiating the Indian Constitution, which consciously decided not to discriminate between the rich and poor, the educated and the illiterate, the Savarnas and the Dalits, Backwards, the Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Parsees, giving every section of the society not just to cast their vote but to contest as well.
On the other hand successive Pakistan military dictators, while usurping powers, did place all sorts of restrictions on people’s participation in the democratic process and one of the condition placed by General Parvez Musharraf for eligibility to contest was graduation. Of course it mattered least if the degree was bogus or obtained from obscure university like Narendra Modi’s or from some Madrasas. In India next we will have the EC tell us to obtain a degree from Saraswati Shishu Mandir or Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram or Samiti or from Sharda university or any Vidyapeeth to qualify to enter the electoral process and a character certificate from such institutions would testify to your high moral standards. That’s what the Brahmin Sampath would want the electors to look for.
If there was any doubt left about the fact that Sampath was a player in this whole game it was cleared from the Times of India report from Jorhat dated April 3, 2014 which reported that during a routine “mock poll” through a EVM in the presence of the representatives of all political parties that “Every time a button was pressed, the went in favour of the BJP.” Former Union Minister B K Handique, a Congress stalwart, is contesting from Jorhat constituency against BJP’s greenhorn Kamakhya Tasa. Obviously this Tasa fellow is still not smart enough to have successfully brushed the issue under the carpet and so the state Chief Electoral Officer Vijayandra immediately conceded that this was a defective machine. These machines are being produced by a private company and are supposed to be tested by the engineers of the Electronic Corporation of India (ECIL), a public sector undertaking. Nobody would know how many such “defective” evms have been supplied and in turn dispatched by the Election Commission and no one has a right to demand any information from the EC even through the RTI.
Instead on April 2, the Election Commission issued formal directives to all state chief electoral officers to use EVMs in all the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies in the nine-phased polling beginning April 7.
The EC said it took the decision after it was satisfied that it had enough EVMs for the purpose. So much for the EC’s satisfaction.
According to the latest edition of candidates’ handbook for Lok Sabha polls, EVMs can cater to a maximum of 64 candidates.
Incidentally the machine can accommodate only 16 candidates in one unit, therefore if there are more than 16, two units are attached alongside, if there are more than 32 then three and so on. But if there are more than 64, then the EC has no choice but to revert to the time tested old method of stamping the ballot paper. My suggestion for the anti-Modi camp is to ensure more than 64 candidates in each constituency to defeat the EC’s machinations and manipulations to surreptitiously aid Narendra Modi and his fascist brigade.
Sampath reminds me of the infamous T N Seshan who too was appointed the CEC at a crucial time to turn back the wheel of Mandal in 1990-1991 and he did succeed largely, though partly due to the planned assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. Seshan is also the one who first came up with the idea of EVMs and in fact started introducing these during his tenure. His stated reason was to undo the “hijacking” of the electoral process by the likes of Lalu Prasad” clearly demonstrating not just his disdain but fear of Lalu coming to power. So he came up with the idea of EVM.
England, and not the US, is the most honest and reliable democracy in the world. To date it relies solely on ballot papers. Even in the US where George W Bush succeeded in rigging two successive elections through the EVM which became public soon after, not all states allow the EVM.
Those pleading for the EVM claim that earlier if a candidate had muscle power he would turn up at a booth with jeep full of musclemen, capture the booth, stamp the ballot paper and stuff the ballot box. But rigging now has become far less complicated than earlier. No need for a jeep, no need for firearms or any arms, no need for making a display of vulgar muscle power. All that is required is to ensure the choice of the “right” Polling officer at some selected booths and corruptible election agents of the rival party. After that it is so easy to press the button N number of times for the candidate the polling officer favours. That is when the machine is not programmed like in Jorhat to register only BJP votes, whatever button you push.
When Lalu Yadav and CPM protested in the late 1990s against Seshan’s manipulation of the election process through several means including the EVMs, the RSS/BJP laughed it away. Then former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh demonstrated in a press conference how programmed evms were manipulating the voting process in favour of some favoured candidates. Naturally no one paid heed. Last a machine programmed to vote only BJP candidate was accidentally discovered in Madhya Pradesh assembly elections. But no response and now the latest is Jorhat. That is what gives Narendra Modi the confidence, that is what Bhagwat and Amit Shah will marshal out their boys to do.
Many a scientist and technologist all over the world have pointed out how the evm can be manipulated in several ways including feeding the desired programme in the chip. Senior scientist Gauhar Raza has recently described in detail how the election process can be distorted by manipulating the machine. I am going to put it out on the facebook as well. He has also explained how the various surveys and polls conducted before the actual polling helps in planning exactly how much manipulation of the machine is required in order to succeed and simultaneously silence the sceptics. But for the time being it would suffice to remind my Chaddi brethren that one of the persons who questioned the fairness of evms was none other than G V L Narasimha Rao, an acolyte of L K Advani who wrote a full book after the 2009 elections, blaming it all on the machine
By Faraz Ahmad
Electronic Voting Machine