AAP deflects corruption charges by beating the drum on EVM hacking

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2018 Published on May 09, 2017

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal arrives to attend a special session of the Assembly on Tuesday. Later, he dared the Election Commission to provide an EVM to the AAP, claiming the machine could be tampered with in only 90 seconds   -  PTI

Delhi govt calls special session of Assembly to expose EVM tampering as sacked Minister continues his tirade against Kejriwal, AAP

Cornered on corruption allegations, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday sought to divert the discourse by convening a special session of the Delhi Assembly, and staging a demonstration of how Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are being tampered with at the instance of the BJP to win successive elections.

In the meantime, former Minister and suspended AAP leader Kapil Mishra continued his attack on the party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, loding three different complaints with the CBI. The first was against Kejriwal for allegedly accepting a bribe of ₹2 crore from Health Minister Satyender Jain; the second, against Jain for allegedly fixing a land deal for the CM’s brother-in-law, and the third related to foreign travels of AAP leaders Raghav Chadha, Ashish Khaitan, Sanjay Singh, Satyender Jain and Durgesh Pandey.

The big ‘exposé’

While the BJP ratcheted up its attack on Kejriwal, calling him “ ghooskhor (bribe-taker)”, and the Congress demanded his prosecution, the Delhi CM began the day with the promise of a big “exposé”.

Desh mein chal rah eek bahut bade shadyantra ka sach aaj sadan mein Saurabh Bhardwaj desh ke samne rakhenge. Unhe zaroor suniyega. Satyamev Jayate (Saurabh Bharadwaj will expose the truth in the Delhi Assembly behind a big conspiracy in the country. Do listen to him. Truth always triumphs),” Kejirwal tweeted.

The Assembly session began with BJP MLA and Opposition leader Vijender Gupta being marshalled out of the House. Before he was thrown out, Gupta had tried to raise the allegations levelled against Kejriwal by Mishra, who, too, was present in the House.

Interestingly, the Trinamool Congress, which has also been questioning EVMs, sent its leader Sukhendu Shekhar Roy to the Assembly’s visitors’ gallery. Also seen were the RJD’s Manoj Jha, CPI(M)’s Nilotpal Basu and Congress’ Tehseen Poonawalla.

The demonstration

The AAP legislator from Greater Kailash Saurabh Bhardwaj, a software engineer by profession, claimed that any one with knowledge of a “secret code” could tamper with the EVMs.

Using a prototype of the EVM, Bharadwaj cast 10 votes for the AAP, two each for the BSP, Congress and the SP, and three for the BJP. With the insertion of the “secret code”, the results given out by the machine read – 11 votes to the BJP and two each to all other parties.

Poll panel mum on live demo

The Election Commission did not give any formal response to the AAP’s demonstration inside the Delhi Assembly. The EC has called a meeting of all political parties on May 12 to discuss the issue of EVMs. In the past, the EC has maintained that the mother board of the EVMs cannot be tampered with and that no secret code can be inserted.

BJP wants AAP derecognised

Meanwhile, the Delhi unit of the BJP lodged a complaint with the Election Commission for the party’s alleged involvement in corruption cases and sought its de-recognition. The party’s Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari alleged that there were “gross discrepancies” in the figures of donation shown by the AAP in its affidavits, party website, and what it has declared to the Election Commission.

Published on May 09, 2017
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