BHOPAL/NEW DELHI: A day after a controversial video of a dummy test of an electronic voting machine (EVM) in Bhind ahead of a byelection there went viral on social media, the Madhya Pradesh government on Saturday removed the district collector and the SP and initiated action against 19 others.
The Madhya Pradesh government’s action came even as Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal met chief election commissioner Naseem Zaidi earlier in the day and demanded that paper ballot enabled EVMs be used for elections henceforth. Kejriwal also raised questions over the upcoming MCD polls in which over 12,000 EVMs will be used.
The Bhind video reportedly shows the voter verifiable paper audit trail leading to slips bearing only the ruling BJP‘s lotus symbol when different buttons on the EVM are pressed. The video led to EC seeking report from 21 officials in the Bhind district, where byelection in the Ater seat is scheduled on April 9.
Congress and AAP staged protests demanding that chief electoral officer (CEO) of Madhya Pradesh Shalina Singh be removed. “We have sought report from the chief secretary regarding the officials,” Election Commissioner OP Rawat told TOI. Kejriwal demanded that every single EVM must be checked henceforth.
“If some EVMs can be faulty, many others may also be tampered with. These reports are shocking and raise doubts about the essence of democracy in this country. This means that if this continues, no matter who people vote for, the lotus will bloom out of the muck of EVMs,” he said, adding that no checking was done to find the fault in EVMs in Assam and MP. “Who is changing the software and how is not being checked,” he said.
The video has set off a debate over EVMs. After the BSP’s rout in UP assembly polls, party chief Mayawati had demanded fresh polls in the state alleging that EVMs were tampered with in the state. Kejriwal had also raised doubts over EVMs after AAP failed to win the Punjab polls. Raising questions about the machines, he said it could be that some machines are faulty. “But how is it that all faulty machines only register votes in favour of BJP?” RJD chief Lalu Prasad too demanded a probe.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/madhya-pradesh-government-shunts-out-bhind-dm-sp-after-evm-row/articleshow/57968571.cms