EVM Machinations

December 15 2017

It seems all the big opposition parties are gearing up to protest the use electronic voting machines (EVMs) after the Gujarat poll results are out. Sources say that if BJP marks a massive win, they might call for the boycott of the Karnataka election. Congress, AAP, Mamata Banerjee, Lalu Prasad, Mayawati, the communist parties have all been clamouring for return to the paper ballot. They argue that even in such a big country as the US, voting is by paper ballots. They point out that in the recent civic polls in Uttar Pradesh, BJP has won 14 out of the 16 Mayoral seats, for which polls were held using EVMs. Contrarily, and remarkably, in the 438 City Council president polls, which were held using paper ballots, BJP got a drubbing, losing in as many as 337. The same feature has been seen in all the elections to UP’s local body elections: wherever paper ballots were used the BJP was washed out. In fact, a senior Congress has raised the question why the Election Commission shifted out its IT Cell in a hurry to Ahmedabad a year and half ago. Why have the EC started its new informatics centre in Ahmedabad, he asks, and entrusted the work to a private company? This technology can be used to analyse and process EVM voting data. He says also that the EC must reveal the ownership of this company. Congress is already pointing fingers at a top Gujarat industrialist who is a self-declared Modi supporter.

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