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Kejriwal demands inquiry into ‘defective’ EVMs, paper trail for polls

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday urged the Election Commission to investigate cases of faulty EVMs to ascertain if they were tampered with to favour the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in recent elections.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also demanded that paper trail of votes be re-implemented for all elections in the country.

Citing Friday’s case of Madhya Pradesh where an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) – during a demonstration to media – printed slips of the BJP no matter which button was pressed, Kejriwal said it was not an isolated incident.

“I have been repeatedly saying that these machines are being tampered with at a very large scale. Similar machines also surfaced in Assam and Delhi Cantonment where no matter which party you vote for, the vote only goes to the BJP,” he said.

He asked why was it that every defective machine favoured the BJP and not any other political party.

“It means these machines are being tampered with and their software have been changed.”

Kejriwal said that while the Election Commission says that the chips of the EVMs can’t be written on, “but it clearly doesn’t seem to be the case”.

The Delhi Chief Minister added that before the elections, the Election Commission conducts demo of 20-25 machines but if any machine is found to be defective, they just change that machine but don’t order any inquiry.

“Just in Delhi (civic polls), 12,000 machines going to be used. They all can’t be checked. If one machine is found to be defective, it raises questions on the others too,” he said.

The AAP leader said that Friday’s incident of Madhya Pradesh raises big question if elections in India were being conducted in a fair manner.

“It raises question if people are casting their votes or if machines are doing it,” he asked.

Kejriwal said in all three incidents where the defective machines were found, the Election Commission did not issue an inquiry if they were tampered with.

“I have demanded that a technical investigation into all these incidents be conducted so it could be found if the machines were tampered with, and if so, who was responsible,” he said.

“Otherwise, no matter who people vote for, only lotus would bloom from the ‘keechad’ of EVMs,” he added, in a reference to the lotus symbol of the BJP.

The Delhi civic polls would be conducted on April 23 and results would be declared on April 26.

–IANS

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