Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

EVM theft

Hari Prasad, managing director of NetIndia Pvt. Ltd. and technical co-ordinator of Verifiability, Transparency and Accountability (VeTA) was arrested for EVM theft on 21/8/2010. VeTA claims to be a citizens’ forum that deals with election. GVL Narasimha Rao is the president of VeTA.

Some people have raised doubts about EVMs. When people lose elections they find it difficult to accept their defeat. Chandrababu Naidu and many losers question the reliability of EVMs.

Some had gone to courts against EVMs but they could not prove anything against EVMs. Madras High Court held EVMs to be national pride.

GVL Narasimha Rao was an independent psephologist and many of his predictions came true. Then he became an employee of BJP in an indirect way and his predictions for 2009 Lok Sabha elections proved wrong. Most exit polls had predicted Congress getting more seats than BJP. GVL Narasimha Rao had predicted BJP victory.

In 2004 BJP and its allies did not get Muslim votes due to 2002 Gujarat riots and Narendra Modi’s continuance as chief minister of Gujarat. In 2008 members of Sangh Parivar had attacked Christians in Orissa and Karnataka. When 2009 elections began Arun Shourie mentioned Narendra Modi as the next prime minister after L. K. Advani. Feroze Varun Gandhi made a speech against Muslims. BJP and its allies did not get Christian and Muslim votes. As long as Narendra Modi is chief minister of Gujarat, BJP and its allies can forget Muslim votes.

Alok Shukla, Deputy Election Commissioner, has said Hari Prasad was given a chance to prove that EVM can be tampered with and he failed to do so. GVL Narasimha Rao blames Election Commission for arrest of Hari Prasad as if stealing EVM or using a stolen EVM is not a crime. Hari Prasad has said that a government official gave the EVM to him and he returned the EVM to the official after using it but he has not mentioned the name of the official.

How an American and a Dutchman got involved in proving that EVMs can be tampered with needs to be probed. EVMs have been a success and India is technologically ahead of many other countries. If other countries don’t use EVMs it is their problem. They are free to remain backward. History of USA and the world would have been different if Americans had used EVMs in the presidential election of 2000.

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