Kejriwal alleges EVM tampering helped Congress in Punjab

Kejriwal alleges EVM tampering helped Congress in Punjab
Kejriwal alleges EVM tampering helped Congress in Punjab

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday alleged that EVMs may have been tampered with in Punjab, resulting in 20-25 per cent of AAP votes getting transferred to the SAD-BJP alliance and thus propping up the Congress to power.

The Aam Aadmi Party leader told the media here that there were numerous booths where his party got only "two, three or four" votes when though the number of its own activists and family members were in dozens.

He said there was widespread suspicion that "20 to 25 per cent of votes polled in favour of the AAP had been transferred to the Akali Dal-BJP alliance" by tampering the Electronic Voting Machines.

The Congress won the Punjab election with 38.4 per cent vote share, the defeated Akali Dal-BJP alliance got 30.5 per cent of votes while the AAP, now the main opposition party, got only 23.5 per cent of votes.

"There was anger against the ruling Akali-BJP alliance and people were saying the AAP will sweep the polls with Akali-BJP getting only 5-6 per cent votes," Kejriwal said.

"But in the end, AAP got barely 25 per cent votes and the SAD got almost 31 per cent. How is it possible?"

AAP "volunteers and their families... are all ready to swear on affidavit that they voted for us" in areas where the party got only two to four votes, he said.

Kejriwal said there were no two views about the AAP sweep in the Malwa region in Punjab and yet all seats there went to the Congress.

Pointing out the vulnerability of EVMs, Kejriwal said the Election Commission cannot shirk away from its responsibility of restoring people's faith in the electoral process.

He said similar doubts had also been raised about the EVMs following the Maharashtra civic polls and the just concluded assembly election in Uttar Pradesh.

"Many countries have stopped using EVMs. Even the BJP in the past including (L.K.) Advaniji had said they can be tampered with. The Supreme Court too has said EVMs can be tampered with."

Kejriwal said that in 32 of the 117 constituencies in Punjab, Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system was installed.

"We demand the (poll panel) to match the details of the VVPAT with EVMs. We strongly suspect that around 20-25 per cent of our votes were transferred to the SAD-BJP through tampering of EVMs.

"The EC should count the VVPAT slips where they were used and match them with the EVM result. If the results match, people's trust in EVMs will increase."

Kejriwal said the Punjab election process cannot be countermanded but underlined he did not want what happened in Punjab to take place anywhere else.

"If EVMs can actually be tampered with, then there is no point in holding elections," Kejriwal said.

The AAP, which was confident of winning in Punjab, finished a distant second with 20 seats (an ally won two seats) while the Congress secured nearly two-thirds majority. The Akali Dal-BJP alliance got 18 seats.

The BJP accused Kejriwal of "damaging the credibility" of the Election Commission and the electoral process.

Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari said Kejriwal was unable to accept his defeat in Punjab and Goa.

He accused Kejriwal of creating a controversy about the EVMs to use during the civic polls in Delhi to be held on April 22 where he said the AAP will face defeat.

Kejriwal alleges EVM tampering helped Congress in Punjab