No EVM Rigging Took Place During UP Civic Elections - Its Official And You Better Believe It!

Raman Swamy

It is all lies.  Those who say that EVM machines were tampered with during the first phase of the civic body elections in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday are one of four things - a) they are frustrated Opposition party candidates trying to find an alibi for their impending defeat; b) they are trouble-makers and anti-social elements; c) they are lunatics in need of urgent brain surgery; d) they are just mischievous young men hoping to appear on TV with outrageous allegations.

The only other option apart from the above-listed four options is that they are all of the options – they are frustrated candidates, anti-social elements, mentally deranged and hankering for two minutes of TV time – all rolled into one.

The reason is simple.   EVM machines are tamper-proof.   Repeat:   Electronic Voting Machines cannot be -- can never be -- tampered with or rigged or fiddled with or monkeyed around with.  If there is one guaranteed certainty under the Indian sun, it is that EVMs are fool-proof.  Indian manufactures of Indian EVMs are superior even to God Almighty – they never make mistakes, they never voting machines that are vulnerable to fraud. 

The highest constitutional authority has said so on a number of occasions.  The former Chief Election Commissioner, the previous Chief Election Commissioner and another former Chief Election Commissioner have all three issued categorical statements to this effect.  They have all used one simple word in regard to the possibility of rigging:  Impossible!

Hence, it is clear and final.  There was no tampering of EVMs in the first phase of the local body elections in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.  Period. Argument over.  Case closed.

Right. But what is one to do about all the reports that were coming in during the day from polling stations in Kanpur, Agra, Meerut, etc.?  There were several news flashes sent by reporters representing multiple news organizations about defective EVMs, malfunctioning of machines, complaints by voters, protests, clashes, halt in polling, replacement of machines, replacement of Election Commission polling officers, etc.   Were they also lies, falsehoods and fake news?

 Yes, lies, all lies.  Nothing of the kind happened.  Read the official bulletin. It says polling throughout the 24 districts of the State where votes were cast in the first phase of the civic bodies elections was “peaceful and incident-free”.  Mark the words used – peaceful and incident-free.  What more evidence do you need to show that no tampering of EVMs took place, there were no complaints, no protests and no delay in the polling process.

But, the official bulletin does mention some cases of defective and malfunctioning machines.

True, very true.  We believe in complete transparency.  Those were all minor incidents. Very insignificant incidents.  Some machines did malfunction and they were immediately replaced.  Some machines were found to be defective and they were also promptly replaced.   Some voters did register complaints but these were addressed without delay.  Some political workers did stage dharnas in stray cases, but they were quickly dispersed by the security forces deployed outside all polling booths.  The Election Commission deserves high praise for the elaborate security arrangements that had been made to ensure free and fair and peaceful polling.  That is the essence of democracy. 

But why did the machines malfunction? Why were they defective? Did you not say that EVM machines are guaranteed to work smoothly and efficiently?

Glitches and breakdowns are inevitable in electronic machines.  Sometimes, problems do arise. The important thing is that as soon as defects were discovered, the machines were changed.

How is it that all the glitches, all the defective and all the malfunctioning machines that voters complained about had the same glitch and defect – each time any button was pressed it would always record a vote cast for the Lotus symbol? 

That is because all the voters who complained were frustrated lunatics supporting parties like the BSP, Samajwadi and Congress.  They wanted to see Hathi, Cycle and Hand symbols.  But everyone knows the 125 crore people of India have rejected all these parties.  The whole country votes for Lotus.  Modiji’s popularity has risen higher than even 2014, even the Pew survey shows that the BJP wave is still strong like a tsunami.  All other parties have been totally discredited.  Mayawati is corrupt and will soon land in jail.  Mulayam and his son Akhilesh have quarreled in public and the people have lost faith in them.  Rahul Gandhi is a political novice and nobody takes him seriously.

But how does the EVM machine know that?  Machines are supposed to display the symbol that is pressed by the voter.  Machines are not political animals which know which way the wind is blowing.   Machines should not on their own decide to register votes in favour of the Lotus flower candidate just because India has become Mulayam-mukt, Congress-rahit and Maya-reject. 

No, no, you have already been told that nothing like that happened.  EVMs were not rigged in favour of the BJP.  There were only some defective and malfunctioning machines, here and there.  You have no proof that only Lotus symbol was registered whenever any button was pressed.  There were no reports of that nature from any of the 24 districts of UP.   

No proof?  No reports?   Throughout the day on Wednesday there were reports and complaints.  The Samajwadi Party retweeted a news report that at several places, no matter which button was pressed, LEDs against BJP symbol flashed. The reports came from Dhawai Nagar, Meerut and Kanpur. 

A BSP supporter claimed that while he voted for the party, lights against NOTA and BJP flashed. Voting was stopped after this complaint and was only resumed after the voting machine was replaced, according to The Hindustan Times.

There was a disturbance at ward number 89 in Meerut. Voters alleged that EVM machines are casting votes only for BJP no matter which button is pressed. 

The EVM at Section 562 in ward number 55 at south DUJ Inter college in Gorakhpur stopped working for nearly two hours after it was found to be stuck on the Lotus light. The machine had to be replaced, according to Amar Ujjala.

In Kanpur, voting was interrupted and restarted in three booths of Mani Ram Bagia Ward number 104 only after technical glitches in three EVMs were brought to the notice of the polling officers, who initially refused to take any action and ordered the aggrieved voters to go away.  

In Agra too so-called technical glitch surfaced.  An ANI report said there was a delay in polling in booth number 606 due to serious complaints by voters of one-sided display of votes cast. 

Other news flashes were:  Commotion in Kanpur's Harsh Nagar area over the issue of ‘rigged’ EVMs.  Uproar in Meerut because when voters pressed for the BSP Hathi on EVM only BJP Lotus got the votes.

Additional State Election Commissioner Ved Prakash Verma:  There is no evidence of EVM tampering, only some cases of malfunctioning.  Prabhat Kumar, Divisional Commissioner Meerut:  No proof that EVMs cast votes only for BJP. 

However, according to the Times of India, officials of Meerut admitted that machines in some booths were "defective" and that there was some "disturbance". Additional District Magistrate Mukesh Kumar was quoted as saying - "We immediately changed the malfunctioning machine with a working machine".

Meanwhile, a video has gone viral on social media, in which a voter is seen protesting that his vote for his preferred candidate is showing wrong display.  The voter can been seen  pressing the button for BSP. He says in the video, "I voted for the BSP candidate. I have kept the same button pressed so far. The machine records my vote goes to the BJP. I have been here for an hour but I have not got any solution yet”.

There is only one solution.  All voters in civic body elections, Lok Sabha elections or in the coming Gujarat assembly election should press only the Lotus button.  Their vote would then be accurately and correctly accepted by the tamper-proof EVM machine.   If every voter follows that method, there will be no cause for any complaint. Everybody can go home happily and be proud to have fulfilled the patriotic duty of casting his or her valuable vote in the true spirit of free and fair elections for Parliamentary Democracy.

Nov 28, 2017

Raman Swamy [email protected]

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