Reject EVMs to Safeguard Indian Democracy
Back to Ballot
July 14, 2019, 9am- 6pm
Deputy Chairman Hall, 2nd Floor, Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi-110001
After the results of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections were announced, political parties as well as several political commentators are trying to understand the social and political reasons leading to the 2019 verdict. These analyses have largely focused on political and organisational limitations of the opposition compared to the RSS-BJP. While we recognise the urgent need to address these political and organisational challenges, it is equally important to recognise the threat to Indian democracy being posed by the use of EVMs. It is, indeed, the X factor, the one concern in Indian politics which we can ill afford to ignore in our fight to defend the idea of India.
During the 2019 Election, several startling facts regarding EVM have come into public domain, which are extremely worrying. Any machine can be tampered with, and machines are only as trustworthy as the institution and individuals that control them. The credibility of the Election Commission of India was at an all-time low in the 2019 Elections, with blatant bias, unanswered questions, patently false information, opaqueness and glaring unexplained errors marring the whole exercise of polling and counting. If the ECI’s credibility is under question, should we not assume that EVMs too might be tampered? The unprecedented subversion of the ECI and its processes by the ruling party has emerged as the key factor leading to major unexplained discrepancies such as 20 lakh missing EVM machines, unauthorised and unguarded movement of EVMs, substantial mismatch in total number of votes polled as recorded by the ECI before and after counting, the Uttarakhand case of mismatch in code number on EVMs etc. Even the demand by 21 opposition parties for counting of 50% VVPATs has been rejected by the ECI. Meanwhile further revelations through RTI about the re-programmable nature of chips used, possibility of insertion of trojans etc have shown that there is an unimaginable scale of possibility of manipulation through EVM.
In light of the above, if we restrict ourselves only to political and organisational factors behind the 2019 verdict, and if we ignore the EVM factor completely, we are sure to arrive at a wrong conclusion for course correction.
A number of organizations and citizens have come together under the banner of EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan to organize a National Consultation in Delhi on July 14, 2019 to discuss strategies for a national campaign to Reject EVMs to Safeguard Indian Democracy. Both the ECI and its conduct & EVMs are key discussion points. The ultimate demand should be (i) Return to Paper Ballots and (ii) Fool proof checks and balances in the constitution of an independent ECI and the processes followed by it.
We request you to kindly cover the national consultation.
On behalf of
Convener: Dr. G G Parikh
Justice Kolse Patil, Tushar Gandhi, Niranjan Takle, Ravi Bhilane, Feroze Mithiborwala, Dhananjay Shinde, Jyoti Badekar, Dr. Sunilam & Shabnam Hashmi
Nandita Narain, Sai Balaji, Priyadarshi