New Delhi: High drama ensued in the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday as Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj “proved” that Electronic Voting Machines can be rigged.
The AAP, since the results of assembly elections in March, has alleged that EVMs have been tampered with to ensure a BJP win. The Arvind Kejriwal-led party had raised suspicions over BJP’s landslide wins in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
‘I have been an engineer’
Bhardwaj brought in EVM to the floor of the House for his live demonstration. He cited his experience as a Computer Engineer and said that even he could rig the machines. "I was a computer science engineer for 10 years before becoming an MLA. The foundation of India's democracy is based on machines that can be easily hacked by small engineers such as me," he said.
‘First, candidates are made to feel satisfied’
When the demonstration began, Bhardwaj said the candidates are first made to feel satisfied. “Before voting day candidates are fooled into believing that the machines are fine. This is done during the mock test,” Bhardwaj said.
Polling before rigging
The Greater Kailash MLA then reset the machine and began to cast votes. “Let us assume that voting has now begun,” he said. Bhardwaj then proceeded to cast two votes each for all five parties.
‘A secret code is entered – Then the rigging begins’
According to Bhardwaj, a secret code is used to ensure that all votes cast after entering the code go to one candidate alone. “Let’s say that some votes have been cast till 10 am and we want to ensure that all votes cast after this time go to BJP. A BJP worker comes in to the booth as a voter and enters the secret code,” he said.
The secret code for the mock BJP candidate in demonstration was ‘123414’. Bharwdwaj demonstrated by first voting for BJP and the then immediately entering the code by pressing the first, second, third, first, fourth, first and fourth buttons on the machine – in that sequence.After the secret code was entered, he cast 8 more votes for AAP.
The final tally showed that AAP, BSP, Congress and SP had all polled only two votes each. This was despite the fact that Bhardwaj had cast ten total votes for AAP. On the other hand, the mock BJP candidate, who had received three votes, polled 11 votes in the final tally.
Election Commission of India (ECI) sources told CNN-News 18 that if an EVM is taken out of the EC security zone, it ceases to be an ECI machine. The source added that the AAP had demonstrated the alleged rigging on a prototype EVM and challenged AAP to prove it during an official EC hackathon challenge.