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5

That Electronic Voting Machines are not tamper proof has been well established, including by the High Court of Delhi judgment on the Public Interest Litigation filed by Dr. Subramanian Swamy in 2012. There have been previous suspicions of Electoral Fraud by rigging Electronic voting machines. Notable among these are the article by Dr. Subramanian Swamy in the year 2000 that pointed out disproportionate votes to BJP in constituencies with Electronic Voting Machines as compared with Constituencies polled using paper ballot. In the year 2000, Swamy had alleged that the widespread use of EVMs was a part of the RSS plan and provided some numbers to prove his allegation:

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be used in all the constituencies. Perhaps it is then easier to rig the outcome. After all, in the 1999 general elections, the BJP and its allies won 34 out of the 45 Lok Sabha constituencies which had EVMs. On that ratio, the NDA should have won 405 se ats of the 544 Lok Sabha constituencies and not 292. EVMs have to be programmed by an engineer to tabulate the votes in its memory. It can easily be programmed to transfer votes of one candidate to another, or one party to another. The EVMs are entirely unsafeguarded today. I suspect it was rigged in the 1999 general elections.

Independently in 2009, Dr Anupam Saraph, the chief information officer of Pune, appointed by the Pune Municipal Corporation and an advisor to the United Nations and Dr Madhav Nalapath, an expert on geopolitics, who had planned to track the elections found excel files on the Election Commission's website on the 6th of May 2009 - 9 days before the polling ended on 15th May and 10 days before vote counting began. This data was further updated on the 8th and 11th before the final results. The Election Commission dismissed this finding as dummy data. However it is unlikely that dummy data would get updated or that dummy data would reflect trends accurately in 180 constituencies. More information, including the updated xls file versions here.

In 2010, a trio of scientists; Hari K. Prasad, Rop Gonggrijp and J. Alex Halderman from the University of Michigan (United States) demonstrated how Indian Electronic Voting Machines can be hacked in several ways.

The video refutes several claims of security made by the Election Commission and is a must watch for every Indian voter.

Also in 2010, we saw Narendra Modi and BJP accused of EVM rigging when it turned out that machines used to poll votes had not been supplied by the EC and there were reports of votes cast for the Congress resulting in the light for BJP being lit. After polling by 44 people, one machine registered 111 votes.

This year's Lok Sabha Election saw several allegations of EVM rigging, including a machine in Assam that transferred all votes to the BJP ound in random testing and two machines found during voting where the light for the Congress blinked, no matter what button was pressed, in Maharashtra.

Subramanian Swamy had tweeted that several machines had been rigged.

Subramanian Swamy EVM fraud
Subramanian Swamy EVM fraud

However, this is the tip o the iceberg. The video makes it clear that rigging is possible in ways that are less easily detectable - for example, transferring a certain percentage of the votes after a certain number of votes have been cast - so that it is more difficult to detect - there is virtually no trail.

India's Deputy Commissioner, Alok Shukla had told BBC, "It is not just the machine, but the overall administrative safeguards which we use that make it absolutely impossible for anybody to open the machine." ... "Before the elections take place, the machine is set in the presence of the candidates and their representatives. These people are allowed to put their seal on the machine, and nobody can open the machine without breaking the seals." However, this is not true.

The researchers state that the seals are easy to tamper with. But these are still possibilities. Less easy to dismiss are concrete incidents.

The address tag from the Electronic Voting Machine in Medha Patkar's constituency was found on the street.

EVM address tag found on street in North East Mumbai constituency
EVM address tag found on street in North East Mumbai constituency

The returning officer, in the case where the EVM was found transferring all votes to BJP said "These EVMs were here for long. Usually, EVMs are kept in the custody of the deputy commissioner and during elections they are taken to strong rooms."

Congress candidate Sanjay Nirupam, who lost with a big margin alleged EVM tampering as well. “Congress candidates have been defeated in Gujarat, Maharshtra and Uttar Pradesh with massive leads, which is not possible. The contract of the EVM had been given to a multi-national company based in Gujarat. This in itself is suspicious,” Nirupam alleged.

Sector Magistrate and son in trouble after taking EVMs home
Sector Magistrate and son in trouble after taking EVMs home. Image: Kafila

Less ambiguous is the situation in Varanasi, which all media except Indian Express have studiously ignored. A day before the Varanasi polls, Awadesh Kumar Srivastava, a divisonal audit officer in the Rural Engineering Department, was given charge of two additional EVMs, to be used as replacements. Srivastava took the EVMs home, instead of keeping them in the allotted sector headquarters as required. Srivastava’s son clicked photographs of himself and his father with the EVMs. He uploaded these photographs on Facebook, with the comment “Ab ki baar, Modi Sarkar”.

EVM taken home by officer on election duty in Varanasi
EVM taken home by officer on election duty in Varanasi

And here is the kicker. A stray news clipping alleges that an Indian engineer from UK had been brought in to rig the Electronic Voting machines and ensure that BJP won 60 seats it was going to lose. This news needs to be traced, people identified and investigated, considering that there is already something strange with the UP Election Result. This, of course is in addition to the miraculous Modi wave that won all seats in UP except those seven seats from the Gandhi family and the Yadav family.

Engineer came to rig EVMs for 60 seats?
Engineer came to rig EVMs for 60 seats?

I am currently trying to trace this newspaper. If you know please comment below. Better copy of print will also be appreciated. It can also be mischief, but the headlines are certainly serious enough to investigate. [update: It seems it may be a clipping from Amar Ujala. However, which edition and date is unclear. Still trying to confirm.]

Kohram.in reports that election staff did bogus voting in favor of BJP casting 10 votes each for BJP and they apparently had a WhatsApp group to coordinate the same.

Other issues include reports of booth capturing, presence of Rahul Gandhi in polling booth and accusations of EVM rigging and demands for re-polling by BJP as well.

Considering the scale of Indian Elections and the significant number of situations where EVM fraud can be considered likely, this should be looked into by the Supreme Court and the Election set aside and re-election should be conducted using ballot paper in the interests of protecting the voice of the people if need be.

Update: Since then, BJP has also been accused of rigging EVMs in Civic polls in Maharashtra with some instances of more votes being counted than votes cast, allegations of tampering in the Pune Civic polls as well as in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Videos have also emerged of a woman alleging booth capturing in UP where women voters were told that the EVM wasn't working, while their votes were cast in favor of BJP instead of BSP. The EC which could easily verify the paper trails and investigate complaints shows no inclination to do so.

2

For those who laughed at Arvind Kejriwal's accusations about Congress, BJP and Samajwadi Party collaborating in UP, here is your stunner. Sangh Parivar SWEPT all seats in UP - except - Gandhi parivar (Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi), Yadav Parivar (Mulayam Singh Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav, Akshay Yadav, Dimple Yadav) and two Apna Dal parivar (NDA) seats, one of them, the daughter of the founder (who probably taught Akshay in Amity or maybe not).

And such precision has been achieved with gaps of 50 thousand votes or more in all but 6 seats and over a lakh in 80% of the seats. Apparently, in Uttar Pradesh, there is not just a people's consensus on voting for BJP, there is a people's consensus on not finding BJP attractive if one of the parivars is available, and the people are very clear about this.

So much for Modi ending dynasty politics. No non-BJP political royals got through in UP and no political royals from the holy trinity got left behind, not even the oh-so-new 25 year old Akshay on his first entry into politics. Not even photos of Rahul Gandhi next to EVMs and news channel broadcasts of him near polling booths could jinx this. Amazing Modi wave. What precision. Drenches some in its benevolence, leaves others dry.

Bahujan Samaj Party that scored a stunning zero in this election is in second place for over 30 seats. Guess they got beaten either by genetics or by not being Hindu enough.

Considering the gaps between polled votes and counted votes, it is anyone's guess what all went into this much needed stunning result for BJP.

9

A link posted on Twitter led me to investigate this. This is the link. I don't think the maths is accurate, or that Wikipedia is a good source for this kind of thing, but luckily, I was able to locate good sources.

Warning: I am no election expert, nor am I all that great at maths. Verify rebut or endorse at your own risk.

The vote share in Uttar Pradesh as per http://ceouttarpradesh.nic.in/GE2014/VoterTurnout.pdf

Scroll right down to the bottom for total votes cast. I read the number 80926378 .

Now head over to the election commission website for the UP page and scroll down to the piechart for vote share with list on left, with number of votes cast. The numbers with dots in front of them expand to show full number when you hover your mouse over them, and you get the following results:

 

Uttar Pradesh vote share
Uttar Pradesh vote share

 

PartyVotes%Vote Count
BJP42.30%34318576
SP22.20%17988792
BSP19.60%15914019
INC7.50%6061236
IND1.70%1414863
AAAP1.00%821301
AD1.00%812325
RLD0.90%689409
NOTA0.70%592406
PECP0.60%500482
D0.40%354578
BMUP0.20%153821
CPI0.20%129471
Total79751279

 

That is looking like 1175099 LESS votes recorded.

Considering that several crucial victory margins can be explained by such numbers, if my maths is right, it looks like a re-poll, right?

Erm yes. EVM fraud is easily possible if you know how to hack it. Apparently EVM fraud likely happened in 2009 as well.

There are some explanations coming up, like the EC not providing vote share of "others" - probably independents, which could explain the difference. Others are saying that the difference could be the postal ballot. But going through the data per constituency disproves both.

The "others" being the difference gets disproved when you tally votes per constituency, where the number of votes each candidates gets is explicit and without room for omissions. We find that every constituency has a difference in number of votes cast and counted.

The postal ballot theory gets disproved because the votes counted don't always exceed votes cast. A person voting by ballot can be understood. There is no explanation for votes already cast going missing - which is the difference in numbers on a state level, which goes above 11 lakh.

I will update data or all constituencies, but this initial sample is good enough to see what I mean.

 

ConstituencyVotes castVotes recordedDifference
Saharanpur119311111943081197
Kairana111733011193241994
Muzaffarnagar110391611074343518
Bijnor105808510603462261
Nagina942326942196-130
Moradabad112624211279651723
Rampur958585956389-2196
Sambhal10563221057002680
Amroha10952161095860644
Meerut11124241113384960
Baghpat10035331004263730

 

2

If one were to hear the Congress criticism of BJP, one would imagine that misuse of state machinery is a BJP trait with all the snoop gate and fake encounters. Yet what happened in Amethi is hardly different.

After a month of routine attacks by Congress workers on Aam Aadmi Party volunteers, the end of campaigning before the polling saw a new phase of enlightenment. Congress fell back to its classic tactic. Weaponizing state machinery. I have remarked before, that if BJP's targets suffer violence from supposedly unaffiliated random Senas and Dals, people Congress targets find themselves on the wrong side of the law from the complaints of anyone except the Congress. We saw it when Kapil Sibal did an about turn on his attempt to control free speech two years ago. A random lawyer still got the "objectionable content" he had a problem with banned through courts. The Janlokpal Andolan saw similar moves. Now it is the same in Amethi.

The Amethi police woke up to the Representation of the People Act last night. The act says, “the presence of political functionaries, party workers, procession functionaries and campaign functionaries etc who have been brought from outside the constituency and who are not voters of the constituency, should not continue to remain present in the constituency as their continued presence after campaign ends may undermine the atmosphere for free and fair poll.’

In a bizarre twist of interpretation, they have interpreted it to mean all AAP supporting non-voters in Amethi. Whether they are party functionaries and campaigners or not. Including Kumar Vishwas's family, which isn't there merely to campaign, but have actually moved to Amethi, with his daughters enrolled in the local school. Sanctimonious Congressis are giving the example of how Siddaramaiah had to leave the Mysore constituency quite forgetting that he was also CM and promoting his party. Did every Congressi non-voter leave Mysore?

Police demanding that Dr. Kumar Vishwas's family leave Amethi in the middle of the night
Police demanding that Dr. Kumar Vishwas's family leave Amethi in the middle of the night

Late last night, the police cars blared on loudspeakers outside Kumar Vishwas' home asking all non-voters in his family to leave urgently or they would be arrested - including his wife and sister who have moved to Amethi with him and are now residents, even if not voters and not functionaries in the party.

When quick thinking AAP supporters alerted the media to the unfolding drama, the channels arrived, and the police slunk away. The police returned with their threats as soon as the channels left. Clearly the police did not want to be recorded with their illegal demands and creative thinking around not arresting women at night, merely trying to bully them into leaving home in the night. The channels left and the police returned and so far, other than stray reports in one or two people, media has most cooperatively managed to not see what the police did not want to show them.

The police on their part are claiming to carry out the Election Commission's orders, which raises questions about the neutrality and competence of the Election Commission in Amethi, since the orders seem to be directed at only one party.

In my opinion, this points to a larger conspiracy in Amethi, and the BJP silence bodes ill for Varanasi. An issue of this magnitude being carried out with such impunity and confidence about lack of objections by anyone except target, in my eyes indicates every possibility of a a reciprocal arrangement.

AAP MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi from Model Town was arrested.

AAP volunteers at police station on 6th morning
AAP volunteers at police station on 6th morning

Police confiscated the booth bags from volunteers in Aam Aadmi Party's Mohanganj office at 11:20 in the night and arrested 9 volunteers, at least one of whom updated that they were sleeping on the floor of the police station.

AAP volunteers in Amethi jail
AAP volunteers in Amethi jail

SDM of Mohanganj in Amethi has picked us up from our AAP office (where we were sleeping) in Mohanganj and has detained me and 9 other AAP members @ 2320 saying we are violating model code of conduct. We r @ Police Station sleeping on floor.

There have been reports of police taking away phones of anyone they saw trying to record the police actions at Kumar Vishwas's home.

Even as cars are parked outside the Munshiganj guest house where Congress functionaries and workers from outside the constituency are staying, even as AAP volunteers reported that a car involved in an attack on AAP workers was seen parked outside the Munshiganj guest house, it appears that the Amethi police do not expect the Representation of People Act to apply to the Congress. Nor has the exercise been repeated at the BJP offices. As with BJP not attacking Congress in Varanasi, Congress does not appear to be attacking BJP in Amethi, though they will, of course deny being hand in glove.

This leads me to wonder if a similar exercise will be carried out in Varanasi. Aam Aadmi Partywould do well to anticipate the tactic being repeated and be prepared to manage their presence in such an eventuality.

Here is a WhatsApp post from a volunteer in Amethi:

पुलिस कुमार भईया के घर पे है और कह रही है
भाभी को अमेठी से
जाना पड़ेगा क्योंकि उनके पास
अमेठी का voter id
नहीं है # 144InAmethi ..क्या स्मृति ईरानी ,राहुल
गाँधी और प्रियंका गाँधी के पास
है ...CONGRESS HAI HAI.
Hum b girefdari denge chahe jaan chle jaaye गिरफ्तारी सुरु हो चुकी है 10 आम
आदमी कार्यकर्ताओ को गिरफ्तार
किया गया ,मॉडल टाउन के विधयक
को भी गिरफ्तार किया गया पुलिस ने बूथ बैग
अपने कब्जे मे किये... Police back at @DrKumarVishwas' for
arresting his
wife. # 144inAmethi ...CONGRESS HAI
HAI Dr. Kumar Vishwas
रात 11 बजे पुलिस वाले मेरे अमेठी आवास पर
आए हैं, और उनका कहना है कि आपके घर में
जितने लोग ठहरे हुए हैं, यदि वो अमेठी के वोटर
नहीं हैं, तो उनको गिरफ्तार किया जाएगा।
मेरे यह कहने पर, कि मेरी पत्नी और मेरी बहनें
यहाँ हैं, उनका क्या? प्रशासन का कहना है
कि यदि अभी के अभी घर
खाली नहीं किया गया, तो उन्हें
भी गिरफ्तार कर लिया जाएगा।
मैं एक सवाल पूछता हूँ - मुंशीगंज गेस्ट हाउस में
सैकड़ों कांग्रेस कार्यकर्ता हैं, क्या प्रशासन
मुंशीगंज गेस्ट हॉउस खाली करवाने का साहस
कर सकता है?

Another person, on reading the updates from Amethi commented:

Though I was about to sleep and thought I won't msg about political msgs... I felt compelled to write...  Specially those who think Aap is B team of any other pol party why such nonsense is happening?

I have kept an stand of on observer but this seems too undemocratic. I know many of us have already voted... This Msg is specially for making you think - where exactly we're heading as a democracy, are we really a democracy, are these netas not goons in white clothes... Are we still going to say cons are good, are we still going to say "Ab ki bar.. "

Why beat your fellow citizens, why misuse power.... Had these netas done their job well, this situation won't have arrived.

A request - just think - ain't intentions of Aap genuine?

A part of me is glad that this happened. The more BJP targeted AAP in Benares, the more their support eroded. This happening before the election day is news that spreads fast and will hopefully add the final nail to the Congress coffin in a fiefdom of entitlement without duties.

The media reporting or not reporting anything doesn't make any difference to locals who see what is going on. The attacks, the impunity, the uneven misuse of state machinery, the man who lived among them for months and moved his children to the local school, and the prince who ruled them for so long without denting their "backward district" image.

Voiceless voters have a way of devastating those with voice at the polling booths, the one place they can hit back with impunity.

[I thank over a dozen willing volunteers who painstakingly emailed me updates and sources on the situation, since I was not able, and in the process, made this post possible. KRD Pravin, Kartik Kwatra, Richa Bharadwaj, Alka Harke, and others who sent in quick inputs on Twitter, which have since faded into its depths, but influenced this post, thank you.]

1

In what appears to be a pattern of escalating assaults on Aam Aadmi Party members, supporters of the BJP tried to bully 4 AAP volunteers out of public space in Varanasi asking them to remove their caps and go away. When AAP volunteers refused to budge failed a group of 15-20 BJP supporters brutally assaulted the four leading to somewhat severe injuries.

The four were returning from an evening cleanliness drive at Durga Kund and singing patriotic songs as they headed for Assi Ghat. On the way back, they stopped at Kashi tea stall to drink water. Nandan, Kavish, Prabhat and Ankit were at the stall when the remaining group went ahead. 3-4 people approached them and told them to remove their caps. They refused. Ankit Lal claims that they had BJP badges, and AAP volunteers invited them for an impromptu debate rather than bullying tactics.

BJP supporters left and joined a group of 15-20 people at a distance and returned with the group, while the AAP volunteers continued to chat with locals. The larger group threatened again. The AAP volunteers refused to obey, and said that if the BJP workers thought that hitting them would solve anything, they were welcome to try.

AAP volunteers assaulted by BJP in Varanasi
AAP volunteers assaulted by BJP in Varanasi

The gang of BJP workers hit Nandan. Blood sprayed from his nose. Ankit Lal challenged them saying "You hit us and run and then call us Bhagoda." At which a few of the BJP workers returned and hit Ankit and Nandan again. Both were hit multiple times. Prabhat who tried to save them also got hit. The BJP workers fled on bikes leaving Ankit and Nandan bleeding. About 30 odd locals were witness to this attack.

Nandan and Ankit Lal injured by BJP thugs
Nandan and Ankit Lal injured by BJP thugs

They were rushed to Swami Vivekananda hospital, where doctors say that AAP national convenor for IT communications, Ankit Lal has damage to his left ear drum which will probably not result in hearing loss, but will take a painful week or so to heal. Nandan has a hairline fracture in his nose and will take longer to heal. Both of them are planning to return to the same place to sing patriotic songs tomorrow, as they had today.

Ankit Lal's spectacles broken in assault
Ankit Lal's spectacles broken in assault

Ankit Lal took to Twitter on returning from the hospital in pain to narrate this incident. He was very clear that they did not obey, they did not back off, they did not retaliate and they will return tomorrow.

Nandan's nose broken in attack by BJP thugs
Nandan's nose broken in attack by BJP thugs

In the meanwhile, anonymous BJP handles are attempting to portray this incident as locals hitting the AAP volunteers for drinking beer. It doesn't get any more "shameless liar" than that.

This attack is the latest installment in a series of attacks on AAP workers and leaders that are increasing in violence as elections draw closer. 5 days ago, BJP supporters brutally beat up Somnath Bharti and vandalized his car. CNN IBN journalist showed remarkable courage wading into the mob to protect Somnath Bharti. While most media blacked out this news, others seem to be pretending that Somnath Bharti was attacked by nameless people and AAP is blaming BJP. It appears that BJP supporters on shows too are not BJP enough for media with a motive.