New Delhi: After NSUI's defeat in Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) elections, the national capital Congress president Ajay Maken accused ABVP of EVM tampering and demanded the elections be re-conducted on paper ballots.
"The DUSU polls should be countermanded and fresh polls should be conducted on paper ballot. There should be on camera counting," he said at an AICC press conference on Friday.
Referring to the Election Commission's statement that they had not supplied EVMs to Delhi University, Maken questioned the university over technical difficulties that halted the vote counting process multiple times on Thursday. "Why can't DU come clean on where they got faulty EVMs from?"
Maken said DU received tampered EVMs from Electronics Corportation of India Limited (ECIL) which manufactures EVMs for the Election Commission on a contract basis. "ECIL cannot give EVMs to any institution without the approval of Election Commission," Maken said.
ECIL, in response, said the EVMs had been procured by DU long ago and were the property of the university. "They had purchased the EVMs long back. The same EVMs have been used every year for student elections," said Rajiv Mathur, Additional General Manager, ECIL.
He said he could not comment on the process of procurement or whether it was done with the Election Commission's approval as he was not with the organisation at the time of EVM purchase.
The state Congress president also linked the EVM failure to BJP and asked why the party always benefited in the event of EVM malfunction.
RSS affiliate ABVP, triumphed on three out of four seats in the DUSU elections on Thursday, riding a dramatic day of counting and results marred by multiple instances of EVM failure. ABVP’s Ankiv Baisoya came from behind to beat NSUI's Sunny Chillar for the post of President.
ABVP also gained seats of Vice-President and Joint-Secretary, while NSUI's popular candidate Aakash Chaudhary managed to secure the Secretary post. The vote counting process halted two times, before being suspended for the day. In one case, the electronic display on an EVM malfunctioned, and in another, an EVM showed votes in a non-existent ballot number 10, when the total number of ballots including candidates and NOTA option was nine.
NSUI protested the technical difficulties and alleged EVM fraud, accusing the university administration of working under pressure from the governement for a desired result in DUSU polls. When the counting was suspended at the end of sixth round, NSUI led on the seats of President and Secretary. After minor clashes, a few broken window panes and hours of slaganeering, the counting resumed late Thursday night and delivered a decisive result for ABVP, sparking further protests from NSUI.
Following the results, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer issued a clarification over the EVM controversy. "With reference to captions being shown in some news channels regarding use of EVMs in the elections of DUSU, I am directed to inform that the EVMs in question are not of Election Commission as no such EVMs have been allotted/issued to DU by this office.
"It was also confirmed from the state election commission that no such machines have been given by them too. It seems that the DU has procured these machines privately. A detailed report in this regard will be sent subsequently as all the officials of DU are not available and busy in their election process at present," the statement said.