Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, June 14:
After the party moved the Election Commission of India (ECI) seeking a probe into the glaring discrepancies in polling data uploaded in Chief Electoral Office (CEO) website, former Union minister and senior Congress leader Bhakta Charan Das has now knocked on the door of ECI.
In a petition filed with the ECI, the former MP has demanded that a team of IT experts be appointed to investigate large-scale discrepancies in the functioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) which influenced the election results in Kalahandi Lok Sabha constituency, where he was defeated by the BJD candidate.
“The results took me by surprise as BJD surpassed not only BJP but the Congress party too. This is something which is not natural and very difficult to comprehend. This clearly gives us an idea about some unusual technique being adopted by the BJD because of which our votes got transferred to BJD. I strongly believe that the results of the elections got replaced because of the tampered machines as there had been many incidences that corroborate my belief,” said Das in a letter addressed to Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath.
Citing his reason for doubts about possible EVM manipulation, Das said at Kukudi booth when the button was pressed on the HAND symbol of the Congress, the vote was found to be recorded in favour of the BJD. “Same happened at Booth No.94- Chhanchanbahali 2, Putigaon booth of Karlamunda block, Burat and Sargiguda booths of Narla Block and the Baliguda booth of M.Rampur block. At Booth No.34 in Telipalas village, INC got only 162 while it was reported by the villagers/voters of the area that 300-400 were cast in our favour. At Talnagi booth, the defect in the machine was such that at a single key impression, 250 votes were cast. The mock poll was done before the actual voting and this defect in the EVM took everyone by surprise. These incidents showed that sadly even the EVMs are inherently subject to programming error, equipment malfunction, and malicious tampering,” said the Congress leader in his letter.
He alleged that the presiding officers at the polling booths were so incompetent that they jumbled up the tags of MPs and MLAs on the boxes carrying EVMs. At many booths, the machines were not even sealed properly, he said. For instance, 10 EVMs were not locked in Narla (81) Assembly Segment. Likewise at Kirkakani booth No.1, Rabanguda booth no. 64 of Dharamgarh block and at several booths of Narla block, machines were not switched off properly.
“The role of the defective and tampered EVMs does not end here only. To everybody’s dismay, it was found that the machines were bearing two different IDs/Numbers i.e at the time of voting and at the time of counting the machines were of different numbers,” informed Das.
“The fault in the EVMs consequently resulted in the inconsistency of total votes cast at the booths and the votes shown in the favour of the candidates contesting for Parliamentary Constituency and Assembly Constituency. The no. of votes as per certified copy, no. of votes as tabulating result (net copy) and no of votes occurred at the booth are not the same in several booths spread across Lanjigarh (77), Narla (81), Junagarh (78) and Bhawanipatna (80) Assembly Segments. Also, there are differences between the total votes polled in the Parliamentary EVM unit and the Assembly Constituency EVM Unit at the same booth,” said Das, which was earlier pointed out in a series of reports by odishasuntimes.com.