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Former NPCC president calls EVMs ‘outdated’

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Dec 9: Former president of Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) has once again cast aspersions on the electronic voting machines (EVMs), saying people have to decide if they should “continue with EVMs and live under an EVM dictatorship.”

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In a press release, K Therie described EVMs as “outdated” and maintained that no advanced nation now trusts EVMs anymore. Since the Supreme Court has rejected the removal of EVMs and the Election Commission continued to defend EVMs, Therie said the public need to take a decision politically.

 

 

Asserting that India was no better than Myanmar, the former minister said “We all know the Military Junta did not allow democracy to rule. Ours is an EVM dictatorship. People do not elect anymore.”

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Pointing out that transparency and satisfaction was the right of the electorate, Therie has, however, claimed that no voter can identify if one’s vote has been actually recorded as intended.

He said that the veteran BJP leader LK Advani had in 2009 rightly termed EVM as “Electronic Victory Machine”. “Why is BJP allergic to people talking about suspected EVM manipulations? What do they fear? Why do they fear Ballot Paper?” Therie questioned.

Further, maintaining that Indian elections were no longer predictable, the former NPCC chief said the issues and crowds were no longer indications especially in the “Cow Belt.”

He claimed that the same thing happened in 2019 Lok Sabha, 2022 UP election, andhallowed  five state elections in 2023.

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In 2019, he claimed that one BJP Union Minister from Bihar, who was not allowed to enter into his constituency, won with a thumping lead of 3 lakh votes. Therie claimed this time Congress candidate in MP secured just 50 votes in his village, adding Congress secured “0” vote in over 20 polling stations.

Questions role of EVM technicians: Therie also claimed that EVMs could be replaced by EVM technicians, who were deputed by ECI.

Therefore, he said ECI was in control over every polling station as EVM numbers for all polling stations were declared by the returning officer on the day of scrutiny of candidates.

“While this is argued as a measure of ensuring transparency, it also enables the exact identity of EVMs which can be then targeted for manipulation,” he said.

Therie said EVMs were at the disposal of technicians to input Candidates’ names and symbols, till they were released to the respective presiding officers.

He said technicians prepare duplicate EVMs for replacement in case of failure, adding that spares could be easily used to replace the recorded votes.

Therie maintained that manipulating 5-10% duplicate was enough to defeat or elect.

Further, he also said that storing polled votes in the strong room for weeks and months was prone to manipulative attacks. On the day of counting, he said EVMs were released by technicians, adding people never know which could be the real one.

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