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Meet Saurabh Bhardwaj, The AAP MLA who 'Proved' EVMs Could be Rigged

As Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) tried to save its face in the wake of accusations by the sacked Delhi water minister Kapil Mishra, it took to the Delhi Assembly floor to hit back at its opponents and revived the debate around electronic voting machines (EVMs).

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com

Updated:May 9, 2017, 7:13 PM IST
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Meet Saurabh Bhardwaj, The AAP MLA who 'Proved' EVMs Could be Rigged
AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj demonstrated in the Delhi Assembly that EVMs can be "tampered with". (Courtesy: CNN-News18)
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New Delhi: As Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) tried to save its face in the wake of accusations by the sacked Delhi water minister Kapil Mishra, it took to the Delhi Assembly floor to hit back at its opponents and revived the debate around electronic voting machines (EVMs). The party, led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, tried to prove that EVMs can be tampered with through a live demonstration.

And Greater Kailash MLA and former minister Saurabh Bhardwaj, known among colleagues from his suave appearance and oratory, was chosen for the occasion.

“He’s a former software engineer, who has worked in the US and the UK. His expertise is in microchips and coding. There was no better person than him whom the party could trust with this,” Atishi Marlena, advisor to deputy CM Manish Sisodia told News18.

The 38-year-old computer engineer-turned-politician, who worked with some of the top multinationals for around a decade before joining AAP, had won Greater Kailash, one of the most affluent constituencies in Delhi, in 2014 Assembly polls by more than 13,000 votes.

Also Read: How AAP's Saurabh Bhardwaj 'Proved' EVMs Can be Rigged

As a reward, Bhardwaj was made a Cabinet minister by Kejriwal in his first tenure, which lasted only 49 days.

“When we came back to power the second time, we had 67 MLAs. Bhardwaj wasn’t brought back to the Cabinet because there were more MLAs who had more experience,” said Marlena.

According to sources within AAP, Kejriwal’s decision to rope in Bhardwaj at a time when the party is going through its lowest phase, shows how much respect he commands in the party. One of the sources went to the extent of hinting that after Kapil Sharma’s sacking, there is a vacancy in the Delhi Cabinet.

Also Read: AAP’s Demo Was on a Prototype, Not a Real EVM: Former CECs and Experts

“He has a separate following, which goes beyond him being with AAP,” Marlena added. Some of the former AAP leaders who usually criticize the way the party is being run also had praise for Bhardwaj.

“He is a suave orator. He exhibits class. Kejriwal doesn’t let anyone speak at any given point of time. He makes very calculated calls. Bhardwaj also looks like one. You never know if he’s next in line for a Cabinet post,” said a former senior AAP leader, on condition of anonymity.

Marlena, however, junked all rumors of Bhardwaj being in a contest for Cabinet post. “There seems to be no need for a Cabinet reshuffle at the moment,” she said.

| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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