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Stop disinformation campaign on EVMs

Stop disinformation campaign on EVMs
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Obviously, behind the demand that EVMs must be replaced by ballot papers, there is a criminal conspiracy hatched by the hostile antiIndia forces not...

Obviously, behind the demand that EVMs must be replaced by ballot papers, there is a criminal conspiracy hatched by the hostile anti-India forces not only to cast aspersions on the electoral machinery but also to make Indian voters look’’ immature, ignorant and irrational’ ’in the eyes of international community.

Why should the leaders of opposition parties now stoop so low as to spread canards and lend credence to the insane and motivated accusations originating from a foreign soil? Aren’t they prudent enough to admit that in the past, the greatest abuse of the electoral process took place when ballot papers were the sole option?

The Election Commission of India had also posed a challenge to all political parties to prove hacking or tampering of the machines but no political party could prove it. A BJP spokesperson like GVL Narasimha Rao was also said to have allegedly authored a book which was critical of the functioning of the EVMs. Subramania Swamy a Harvard scholar but a proven maverick had also filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the use of EVMs. The BSP and the SP also made EVM hacking claims after the UP assembly electoral results. Former bureaucrat Nand Kumar rightly said ‘’ So what if other countries are still going with paper ballot—There are many countries which have adopted EVMs.

In fact, the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Tail (VVPAT) was introduced to dispel any doubt about the EVMs. They are excellent machines that help in saving time and prevent manipulation. N.Gopala Swami, former Chief Election Commissioner of India said ‘’ EVMs are standalone machines and are not worked either by wire or by wireless to any other machine or system. Hence, they cannot be manipulated by signals from mobile phones or any other source. The software in the machine is burnt into a one-time programmable chip or masked chip and can never be altered or tampered with.

Referring to the countries where electronic voting has been given up, Gopala Swami said ‘’ The Netherlands and Germany are cited without either knowing or deliberately concealing the fact that in the former ,it was a net workable PC-type of machine running on OS while in the latter, their Supreme Court had disallowed electronic voting because their law did not have enabling provision.

Such a situation arose in India too when in 1984 the Supreme Court barred the use of EVMs as the law at that time had provision for use of only ballot paper. That In the US, such a net workable DRS ( Direct Recording System) machine is still used with no significant doubts expressed about its fidelity is conveniently glossed over.

Taking UP as the case in point, he said ‘’the BSP in 2007 and the SP in 2012 did well in the Assembly elections. IN 2017, it was the BJP. In the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress and the SP did well in 2009 and the BJP in 2014.This should convince any sceptic that the voters and not the machines decide the outcome. The erudite Swamy said ‘’ Theoretically, there are three entities which/ who can be blamed.

First, voters for having rejected them but then no party would dare blame them for fear of annoying and alienating them forever. One can blame one’s own poor leadership or the incompetence of party functionaries but their level of candour is unknown. That leaves only one entity, the EVM to be demonised, VVPAT or no VVPAT. Nobody has so far succeeded in waking up a person who pretends to sleep.’’

SM Kompella, Kakinada

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