Digvijaya continues to raise questions about EVMs, says Cong agrees with him

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Bhopal, Jan 24 (IANS) Veteran Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh continued to press his demand to stop the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) to ensure transparency in elections.

During a press conference at his residence in Bhopal, the former Chief Minister on Wednesday claimed that the Election Commission of India (ECI) wasn’t taking decisions independently, but on the directions of the ruling BJP. Singh alleged that the “BJP forming governments was not because of voters’ votes but because of ‘machine votes.”

Singh said the Congress had sought information through RTI related to the software and hardware of EVMs, but the ECI passed the question to the companies instead of providing an answer.

A demonstration was also conducted by a technical expert, Atul Patel, who claimed that the EVMs and VVPAT can be manipulated. In the demo, 10 votes were cast for three symbols: Banana, Apple, and Watermelon.

Four votes were given to Banana, five to Apple, and one to Watermelon. However, when the VVPAT slips were counted, Apple received eight votes, Banana received three votes, and one vote went to Watermelon. He claimed that votes can be manipulated.

“The future of 140 crore people in our country cannot be entrusted to those hands that are using power for their own benefit. I will continue to oppose the present voting system,” Singh added.

Singh claimed that any machine with a chip can be hacked and said that he has been opposing voting through EVMs since 2003. He mentioned that it took a long time to convince the Congress party about the manipulation being done through the EVMs, but now the party has agreed with his point that manipulation can occur through EVMs.

After the Congress suffered a massive defeat against the BJP in the state assembly election held in November last year, Digvijaya had blamed the EVMs for the results. The BJP had won 163 of the total 230 assembly seats while the Congress was reduced to 66 against its tally of 114 in 2018.

After the assembly election result, when the Congress high command, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi reviewed the party’s loss in Madhya Pradesh, Digvijaya Singh raised the issue of the EVMs. Sources aware of the matter told IANS that Singh wanted Rahul Gandhi to raise his voice against EVMs, however, the latter had then said that “it’s a separate issue”.

Now, with the Lok Sabha elections getting closer, the Congress has started raising its voice over the accountability of the EVMs. Digvijaya Singh held a demonstration just a day before Sam Pitroda, who was also an advisor to former PM Manmohan Singh, is set to organize a two-day conference for discussing the EVM issue and the VVPAT system.



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