Refusing the challenge

AAP and Congress flay EVMs but don’t have courage to prove their accusation.

After raising a needless din over the authenticity of electronic voting machines (EVMs), some political parties have now backed off from participating in a meeting organised by the Election Commission of India to prove their apprehensions. The reasons given are strange. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) wants a ‘no holds barred hackathon’ and the Congress objects to the ‘terms and conditions’ the poll panel has placed. These are the two parties that have refused to accept the people’s mandate and instead blamed their recent electoral defeats to rigged EVMs. To date, they have not been able to prove their accusation, and the meeting called by the Election Commission was the occasion to vindicate their position. That they have refused to participate under the cover of lame reasons goes to demonstrate the sticky wicket they are on. The AAP wanted to tamper with the motherboard, which it claimed, the poll panel has refused permission for. Let’s be sensible – thousands of EVMs are used in elections across the country and motherboards of all these EVMs couldn’t be possibly tweaked to generate results in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s favour. There have been isolated cases of malfunctioning EVMs, and each such instance has been dealt with to the satisfaction of stakeholders concerned. To argue that once the motherboard is tampered with, the EVM gets rigged, is indeed funny. It’s like claiming that once the specifications of a rocket launch are changed, the rocket will not fire successfully. Of course the rocket will not fire, which is why the specifications mustn’t be changed; and the motherboard similarly needn’t be fiddled with.

There is no point in repeating here the old argument that both the Congress and the AAP have won elections in the recent past through these same EVMs. When one is determined to be in the denial mode on one’s losing popular appeal, there is little anybody can do to correct the perception. These parties further have no leg to stand on, given that the Election Commission of India has said it would bring to the meeting the EVMs which were used in the recently held Assembly elections to Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand. Since both the AAP and the Congress have specifically cast doubts on the results in these States, they ought to have participated in the challenge. But then the Congress is directionless, with senior leaders such as the Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, openly backing the EVMs and ridiculing those who have been blaming it. As for the AAP, it’s in a perpetual state of rhetoric and drama; only recently it called a special session of the Delhi Assembly where one of its MLAs, an ‘expert’, supposedly demonstrated how EVMs could be rigged. Regardless of the hollowness in such claims, the poll panel has done right by deciding to add the Voter Verifiable Paper audit Trail (VVPAT) system to the EVMs, to be doubly sure. Doubting Thomases must now end their misplaced campaign.

Refusing the challenge - AAP and Congress flay EVMs but don't have courage to prove their accusation. For detail visit http://www.dailypioneer.com

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