Eminent Citizens Appeal to Political Parties for Ensuring Safety of EVMs

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Unescorted Electronic Voting Machine

Caravan News

NEW DELHI – Deeply concerned with the recent news reports of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) being transported in unauthorized trucks, a group of eminent citizens including historians, writers, activists and academicians, from across India, have issued appeal urging the political parties and the citizens to ensure the safety of EVMs.

Stating that though it is the Election Commission’s (EC) duty of ensuring free and fair election, but the EC has been partial in this Lok Sabha elections. Thus, they have appealed to the political parties and the ordinary citizens to ensure the safety of EVMs.

“We are concerned that Voters’ Verdict sealed inside the EVM machines is sought to be tampered. We strongly believe that the responsibility of ensuring that the Voters’ Verdict is not changed and manipulated lies with the Election Commission. However, the role of the Election Commission can no longer said to be neutral, which is visible from the internal news coming out of the Election Commission, where the commission refused to include the dissent note of Ashok Lavasa in commission’s orders,” reads the press statement issued by the eminent citizen over the issue of EVM manipulation.

The statement has been signed by 40 concerned people from different fields. Few of the signatories are: Ravi Kiran Jain (National President, PUCL), Syeda Hameed (writer, former member, Planning Commission of India, Delhi), Annie Raja (National General Secretary, NFIW, Delhi), Dev Desai (Social activist, Gujarat) among others.

Here is the full text of the statement:

AN APPEAL TO POLITICAL PARTIES & TO THE CITIZENS OF INDIA

We, the undersigned, are deeply perturbed and concerned with reports coming in from various part of the country of EVM machines and even a VVPAT being transported in unauthorized trucks and private vehicles, the alleged attempts to exchange the EVM machines from strong rooms and replace them with alternate EVM machines. There are also videos of EVMs being stored in unauthorized storage houses and shops.

While the election commission has denied over years that EVMs can be tampered, many of us have been raising the issue of EVM tampering from Gujarat 2002 election onwards.

We are concerned that Voters’ Verdict sealed inside the EVM machines is sought to be tampered.  We strongly believe that the responsibility of ensuring that the Voters’ Verdict is not changed and manipulated lies with the Election Commission. However, the role of the Election Commission can no longer said to be neutral, which is visible from the internal news coming out of the Election Commission, where the commission refused to include the dissent note of Ashok Lavasa in commission’s orders.

We are appealing to political parties as well as the ordinary citizens of India who have fought for the last five years against the authoritarian communal fascist regime to ensure the safety of the EVM machines.

We request you to:

Guard the Strong Rooms round the clock

  1. Do not allow any unauthorized EVMs to be brought into the strong rooms.
  2. Report any suspicious activity immediately on social media
  3. On the day of the counting the representatives of political parties must
  4. Check that the EVMs are sealed before the counting begins
  5. Check the Number of the EVM machine and tally it with the list of EVM machines in which voting was done in your particular booth.

Report to the media, party and local authorities and stop the process of declaration of result and demand re-polling.

We appeal to the security personnel, the law enforcement agencies to ensure that on May 23rd the counting passes off peacefully and no violence is tolerated.

Campaign to go back to ballot like all developed countries will continue after the formation of the new government.

 

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