Conspiracy theories hound electronic voting machines two days before India’s election results
The Election Commission today assured that polled electronic voting machines (EVM) are ‘absolutely safe in strongrooms’-- reacting to videos on media and social media which show EVMs being transported in private vehicles.
“The visuals seen viral on media do not pertain to any EVMs used during the polls,” said EC in a press statement. These series of videos show these machines being tampered in Bihar, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (UP).
Leaders of several parties like Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) complained to the EC on these alleged movement of electronic voting machines (EVMs) to replace the polled machines in strongrooms.
Chandrababu Naidu who is already doing the rounds and gathering steam against Bharatiya Janata Party, is one of the leaders along with Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury who is mobilizing parties to meet EC.
“The EC is yet to come out with a procedure in case there is a mismatch between the VVPAT and the EVM tally. We want that even for a single mismatch in the VVPAT samples picked for counting and EVMs, all VVPATs in that assembly segment must be counted. This is important to maintain integrity of the electoral process,” Yechury said, according to a HT report.
EC however has been assuring that its procedures are in place. “The aspersions in clips being used in media merely pertain to the storage or movement of Reserve unused EVMs. However, any case of lapse even in handling of reserve EVMs is thoroughly investigated and disciplinary action taken against the officers responsible,” EC assured in a statement.
Exit Poll Effect
These allegations which came a day after exit polls, and mostly by opposition parties, could cast a shadow of doubt on Lok Sabha election results, which are to be announced on May 23.
A poll of polls predicts a comfortable win for National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by PM Narendra Modi. An aggregation of the various exit polls says that NDA would win more than 300 seats in the current Lok Sabha Election, leaving no option for many opposition parties to come together and form a front, in case of a fractured mandate.
Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee, who had been a career Congress politician and Finance Minister for many years, was one of the many people who expressed concern over alleged ‘tampering of voters’ verdict’.
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