Kejriwal reiterates demand for ballot papers despite EC snub

RSTV Bureau
New Delhio: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addressing a press conference in New Delhi on April 3, 2017. PTI Photo

New Delhio: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addressing a press conference in New Delhi on April 3, 2017. PTI Photo

A day after the Election Commission snubbed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for continuously questioning the reliability of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reiterated his demand that the municipal polls in Delhi be deferred and ballot papers be reintroduced in the voting process.

Municipal polls in Delhi are scheduled to take place in three weeks from now, on April 23.

Kejriwal has been blaming AAP’s poor performance in Punjab on faulty EVMs. He even alleged that BJP’s massive mandate in Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls was also because of faulty EVMs which recorded votes only for the BJP.

Kejriwal’s allegations have been vehemently rejected by the EC. The Commission went a step further to say that AAP should introspect on its loss instead of blaming the EVMs.

“It is unfair on your (AAP) part to attribute unsatisfactory poll performance to the alleged tamperability of EVMS,” the EC said in a strongly worded letter.

Delhi’s Lt Governor Anil Baijal too rejected AAP’s demand to defer municipal polls in Delhi. Baijal cited “time constraints” to effect any change in mode of polling.

While addressing a press conference at his residence, Kejriwal again alleged “widepsread tampering” of EVMs and claimed VVPAT machines from Uttar Pradesh were being brought to conduct the Rajouri Garden bypoll.

“MCD polls should be held using paper ballots. It should be postponed if time is required to do that,” he told reporters.

“This goes against the norm that EVMs used in one election cannot be used in another for at least 45 days,” the CM said.

He also claimed that he can prove how EVMs are being tampered with.

He has also written to the EC claiming that “our experts” will prove that the voting machines can be tampered with. “I challenge the ECI to give us 72 hours to prove it”.

“The microchips inside the EVMs can be fiddled with. Sophisticated software is being used to do that. But not all machines are tampered, the critical ones are,” Kejriwal claimed.

He questioned the EC for using EVMs used in Uttar Pradesh’s Govind Nagar for conducting bypolls in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind.

At Bhind, VVPAT-enabled EVMs were found printing the BJP’s poll symbol irrespective of the button pressed during a mock trial, which the opposition parties had latched on to.

Earlier too, allegations of EVM tampering were made by Mayawati and even the Congress.

(With inputs from PTI)