Activists alarmed at ECI buying additional 2 lakh of same manipulable EVMs and combining State (5 states) and Central Elections together creating an environment for major fraud in coming elections
Activists who has been working on EVM issue during last 4 years are alarmed with recent news item that ECI is going to buy 2 lakhs (0.2 million) of same old EVMs and hold the coming state and central elections together in Nov 2013. (Ref: July 2013, Times of India, http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-07-28/india/40848346_1_evms-simultaneous-polls-early-polls ).
The issue is ECI under Dr. Quraishi has done multiple field trails with VVPAT (EVM with paper receipt), did multiple design modifications with help of ECI expert committee and zero’ed on a VVPAT machine design. ECI even demonstrated to opposition parties to their satisfaction as of May 2013. In Apr 2013, ECI went to Supreme Court that they are ready to order the VVPAT machines once they get funds from Central Govt (see links below).
After new election commissioner Mr. Sampath took over, everything came to full stop. What is the imperative for ECI to hold state and central elections together in Nov 2013 and use that as a reason to procure 2 lakhs of same old EVMs that were known to be easily manipulated? This is alarming because this is precisely creating conditions for major EVM frauds (see blatant statewide examples of EVM fraud from 2009 below for which ECI has no answer). Holding elections together when ECI is hard pressed to manage, buying large quantity of extra EVMs does not bode well for fairness of coming elections, based on several experiences in multiple states in 2009 elections (see AP example in particular below). At current times where no party can gain absolute majority all it takes is manipulate small percentage (less than 5%) in select constituencies where margins are thin to tip the balance and even capture power.
This whole idea smells like conspiracy and given the way country is going through one scam after another it is not surprising? Seems like with the possibility of loss of power the establishment seems to take drastic step to subvert democracy. To address this activists are pursuing various strategies such as filing PILs in Supreme Court, protests/Dharna at the Election Commission, increase both national and international awareness of the impending fraudulent elections, bring to notice of the activists in countries ECI is selling the same old EVMs that can be manipulated etc. Please note that Dr. Swamy PIL on EVM is coming up for hearing in Supreme Court on Aug 22nd.