Disrespect of Democracy:
RTI Response Raises Serious Questions About Security, Handling of EVMs
Is there a possibility of rigging electoral outcomes in an election? This question has arisen not only because of the unexpected number of seats won or lost by some parties in the recent contest.
Unaccountable mismatch in numbers of machines from producers and buyers, and insecure transportation have emerged as major concerns from official replies to Right to Information (RTI) queries. The responses will have severe repercussions on the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in the country.
Mumbai RTI activist Roy, who pursued the matter, “Against the figures provided by the EC on the number of EVMs received, BEL and ECIL have submitted data with huge differences in the numbers they have supplied, at times ranging from several thousands to lakhs of EVMs.”
What is worrisome, is that the EC does not have certain and clear data on disposal of EVMs and so no one knows for sure if they are being misused.
Along with mismatch in the data on the number of EVMs received by the EC and the number of EVMs supplied by BEL and ECIL have inconsistencies. There were major discrepancies when it came to payments too. Against the EC’s “actual expenditure” of Rs 5,360,175,485 (spent) on EVMs, the BEL RTI reply said it received from EC a payment of Rs 6,525,644,000 — a difference (excess) of Rs 116.55 crore.
The unanswered question is Where the excess number of EVMs are going, what is being done with them? In Democracy, Election Results are the verdict of People. It is an approval or rejection to a polity.
Last year in the Winter of 2017, the Northern State Punjab was welcome to bring Third Front AAP to power in State. AAP’s win in Punjab and SAD’s defeat was inevitable before the verdict. The media in the by-poll said the same too.
The people of Punjab gave all of us a surprise and elected Congress. Arvind Kejriwal, being disheartened due to this huge defeat decided to probe into the matter of EVMs. He pleaded before EC to count slips of VVPAT and match it with figures of EVM results. To restore people’s faith in the system. But that did not happen.
However, VVPAT ensures fairness only in the last stage of elections. The Election Commission, as an autonomous body, should be rid of any governmental interference or of political parties such as BJP and other Corporate bodies.
Any sort of tampering or rigging of Elections Affects the very foundation of the Indian democracy and its election system.