A case of what appears to be electoral fraud has been brought to attention by volunteers of the Aam Aadmi Party.
Note: This post is based on allegations made by some supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party, which I found suspicious enough to make note of. I have not verified any of this information independently, but I imagine it won’t be so difficult. If you find this contradicts facts in any way, please inform me, and I will update the post accordingly.
Independent candidates using the “TORCH” symbol contested in at least 17 and up to 19 constituencies in Delhi elections. There was no ground level campaigning by these candidates that Aam Aadmi Party workers are aware of, yet ‘Torch’ symbol in Delhi election got the highest number of votes for any independent candidate. Each torch symbol got between four and five thousand votes.
The placement of the “BATTERY TORCH” symbol (Symbol 10 on page 85) during voting was above the Aam Aadmi Party’s broom, and looked quite similar to the “BROOM” symbol used by the Aam Aadmi Party.
Now, it is rather surprising that so many independents independently happened to think of the same symbol as the Aam Aadmi Party, and got thousands seats without campaigning, but was placed just above the broom symbol during polling. Too far fetched a coincidence.
Aam Aadmi Party claims that the Torch had an impact on their results.
This is a rather serious allegation if true.
It may also be independents supporting each other who haven’t yet formed a party, and the placement above the Aam Aadmi Party symbol could be a coincidence, though sounds like a very big coincidence.
The Aam Aadmi Party seems convinced that it was a BJP ploy to divide votes AAP got. I would have been skeptical, except the BJP swarms and anonymous accounts had already started attacking the Aam Aadmi Party over the accusation, which kinda looks like a lot of money to spend over unknown independents and their actions. Though it is also possible that the swarms discredit anything said as a default rather than this specifically.
Besides, it would hardly be the first time BJP affiliates invoked Anna Hazare to use against the Aam Aadmi Party. Think of the “supporter of Anna Hazare” who threw ink at Kejriwal during the Press Conference who turned out to be a BJP worker.
They could be genuine candidates, but then where was the campaigning? Too many coincidences.
This needs more investigation, but I doubt if anyone has the spine to do it. So just keeping it here for now, since we seem headed for reelections anyway.
Interestingly, these are not the only allegations of independent candidates being used to sabotage a party’s potential. In Madhya Pradesh, former Congress MLA Kalpana Parulekar has accused Digvijay Singh of backing at least 70 independent candidates in order to harm the chances of Scindia winning the elections.
One has to wonder, even as we marvel at the stunning AAP show in Delhi against obviously engineered odds, whether Mark Twain was right, after all:
If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.