Tampering of EVMs, Benaras Magistrate in Trouble

Reports of manipulations of Electronic Voting Machines across constituencies have been coming in, and discrepancies in voting figures have been noted in some constituencies. Earlier, before the elections, there had been reports of two machines in Assam that were so programmed as to vote BJP, whichever button you pressed. A Congress counterpart of this was also discovered in Maharashtra. These reports were then dismissed as aberrations. The question now, it seems, is far more serious. Here is a report from Dainik Jagaran (Varanasi edition), that reports that a Sector Magistrate who had taken the machines home is now in trouble after the EC had to investigate an allegation to this effect and found it to be true. Acdcording to the report, the son of the magistrate concerned took some photographs and posted them on Facebook. One of them went viral.

The self-righteous Delhi based mainstream media has of course chosen to ignore this news completely; Jagaran has at least reported it, even it actually minimizes the significance of this lapse. Here is the Jagaran report:

Jagaran photo on EVM manipulation
Jagaran report EVM manipulation and the photograph that went viral, courtesy Naveen Gaur


Of course, this is not the first time that this has happened. Earlier, soon after the 2009 elections too, serious allegations had been raised and this is what one report in Huffington Post had observed:

From May 6 onwards, the candidate’s name was ‘coded’, based on their position on the EVM, and the number of ‘votes polled’ were added, even though voting had yet to take place in many constituencies and, even where voting had taken place, votes were yet to be counted. Even more confounding, the ‘votes polled’ numbers were adjusted in subsequent spreadsheets before the results were announced.


The matter is very serious and needs to be pursued. Investigations continue.


17 thoughts on “Tampering of EVMs, Benaras Magistrate in Trouble”

  1. Just curious – did kafila report the EVM rigging charge in the previous election – when the charge was that the rigging happend in favor of congress to the detriment of BJP?


    1. Hello Rajeev,
      The fight here was between Modi and Kejriwal.
      And as per the ground reports, Kejriwal was going to win.
      Now there is a big doubt on the whole episode of Modi winning from Varanasi.
      Because going by what you said, BJP and Congress both are expert in Booth capturing/ Tampering


  2. Rajeev, if it is possible for you to believe this scenario – I certainly did not know about EVM tampering till this election, when it emerged that after 2009, the BJP had made similar allegations. The Huffington Post story is of May 2014, which alleges large scale tampering after 2009 in the Congress’s favour, and as you can see, I linked to it. I have no interest in protecting the Congress or any other party when it comes to rigging elections.
    Or are you so cynical that you feel if “they” did it last time it’s okay if “we” do it this time?


  3. I think there has been some serious studies done that show electronic voting machines are in fact the worst way to vote – cannot remember just now where I read it. But recommendations are actually not to use electronic machines. Actually, many more ‘technologically savvy/advanced’ societies/nations no longer use EVMs – reverting back to old style ballot boxes. Thank you Nivedita for posting this story – methinks the ruling class in India like to put in ‘gadgets’ or anything else that will ensure their advantage in polls and in other walks of life…Oh – just found the link – http://indiaevm.org/ which published a video of it as well in 2012…


  4. I have never trusted EVMs. I don’t know if the EVMs of this election is rigged. Maybe not. But anything with “Electronic” in it can be hacked. NSA has been demonstrating it and now it is open.

    And there is no guarantee that an electronic device has not hacked. Paper ballots are much better. There is at least a chance to go over and see if the votes for a candidate are actually present.


  5. There are people who see things only in terms of binary opposites the famous action- reaction theorists.
    “Since you did not point fingers at X for a wrong doing, you have no business to point fingers at Y for same, similar or different transgressions”

    . Life is so simple for the simpleton


    1. Indeed. The other variant — now more than 12 years old — is: “what about 1984?”

      As if that and the 2002 pogroms cancel each other. Never mind that while one party stoked the destruction of the Babri Masjid in 1992 and the large scale killings that followed, the other was almost literally sleeping.
      As if a person mentioning any act of human rights violation anywhere has perforce to brandish a library’s worth of others both contemporary and from centuries ago.


  6. I wonder if any concrete actions will be taken by EC & repolling held in Varanasi? or is it too late to rectify this delibrate blunder?


  7. There is a saying in Kannada which roughly translates to ‘A bad dancer blames the dance floor’. The Indian ‘left’ understandably is in a state of shock and denial. Nivedita Menon’s Varanasi forecasts have gone abysmally wrong as her strong prejudices and illogical reasoning made her overlook the writing on the wall. It was very clear for people on the ground that there was a clear and definite Modi wave. Like it or not you need to wake up and confront this reality. Talking about vote share and EVM tampering will leave no one convinced other than the choir singers. Rigging elections was perfected by the communists in west bengal for decades by the blue label drinking Jyoti Basu. And where were these bloggers when Subramanya Swami for the first time brought up the issue of EVM tampering in 2009.
    How about doing a thought experiment. Lets speculate on the reactions of Kafila bloggers if UPA had won the majority instead of NDA.


  8. Ground reports greatly favoured kejriwal as his following was greatly gathering in strength while BJP was steadily waning and hence resorted to threatening AAP workers. After seeing the rallies and closely following the progress of the campaign with a huge momentum favouring AAP, any body could read the writing on the wall that kejriwal was winning. But the unlikely win of MODI with a huge margin juxtaposed with the reports of EVM tampering just solve the puzzle. BJP won varanasi by sheer fraud. Ankit srivastava is an M.Tech engineer and surely it is not for fun that EVMs were taken to his home. EVMs were tampered by introducing falty circuits. MODI won by sheer fraud. This makes all responsible citizens if this country angry. Every possibility that this dirty act of BJP would have been replicated in several other Lok sbha seats. In jharkhand BJP won 12 out of 14 seats with huge margins, inspite of no grounda level pulse favouring BJP. Soni sori failed with just 16000 votes inspite of huge tribal support and even a section of maoists endorsing her and she getting sole access to voters in remote areas. While dinesh kashyap, the BJP candidate won with a huge margin in the tribal belt of bastar? What about delhi where 3-4 seats were predicted for AAP? how didi BJP make a clean sweep there? A lot of sheer fraud orchestrated on EVMs ensured the unexpected vict ory of BJP.
    BJP perfected the art of EVM fraud in Gujarat and they replicted in a stretched out manner around the nation. Kudos to you nivedita for writing this piece.


  9. There is a saying in Tamil which can be roughly stated as ‘the dancer who does not know dancing said that the street was disjointed’. The question of EVMs was raised by Dr.Subramanian Swamy who fought a court case. He has repeatedly raised this issue and wrote about it. At that time it was ignored but once BJP wins the polls it is raised again just on the basis of one news item. In Tamil Nadu way back in 1971 Rajaji and Kamraj fought the elections together and huge crowds that attended their meetings gave an impression that their combination would work wonders for both Swatantra Party and the then Congress (O). But DMK-Congress (I) combination swept the polls and the rest is history. This time also crowds were not found wanting in meetings organized by DMK but it failed to win a single seat. So poll rallies and crowds do not be considered as factors that could help in getting an exact estimate of the outcome.


  10. Vasu refers to “a saying in Kannada which roughly translates to ‘A bad dancer blames the dance floor’ “, tu to “a saying in Tamil which can be roughly stated as ‘the dancer who does not know dancing said that the street was disjointed.’ ” No doubt some worthy will come in with the saying in Hindi which says exactly the same thing (naach na aave angan tehdha) – truly from Kashmir to Kanyakumari India is one!
    What is intriguing is that these folk want to say two mutually contradictory things – that “Kafila said nothing when Congress/Communists tampered with EVMs” but also “Now that your side has lost you’re looking for excuses.” Which is it? Do make up your minds (if any). Either EVMs have been tampered with (so it’s a case of they did it, now its our turn) or all election results have fairly represented the will of the people and we’re just being bad losers (naach na aave…). Can’t be both.
    This post refers to a shocking lapse of protocol, which is dismissed as “just one news item” by tu. One news item should be sufficient, especially in an era of shameless paid news and bought over media.
    And Vasu, there is not a single “prediction” or “forecast” in my post on the AAP campaign in Banaras. Not one. It was a description of an entire section of people and a campaign that was deliberately blacked out by the media, and which nobody got to know of. If you’re able to show me a prediction or a forecast I made that has proved to be “abysmally wrong” or even just plain wrong, I’d be obliged.
    I’m quite struck by the bile we – the “losers” – are facing from the likes of you – the “winners”. Shouldn’t you just be relaxing with your “blue label”, Vasu, and enjoying the full fledged corporate loot to follow? Or does it rankle that the “wave” was only, after all, a tepid sort of wavelet? 31% for the BJP? And including its allies only 38.9%? Of course, it’s sufficient for large scale legal devastation of the commons, the environment, and at best, continuous low-intensity intimidation of minorities. So yes, do go back and relax over your blue label.


  11. Ijust pointed out that this issue has been raised earlier too and it has been a matter for court case.In any case BJP was not the ruling party in the state or centre when the elections were held. I dont think that EVM’s have been tampered with on a large scale and the verdict reflects popular will and preferences. You can blame it on the paid media but how about the other parties. Does one expect that they would have kept quite if there were instances of such tampering.


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