Previous posts on the stealing of the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections on Kafila, which have links to many other substantiated stories in other journals and news portals:
The “massive mandate” of 2019 and the role of the Election Commission – Nivedita Menon
Update On “Tally Mismatch” In 2019 Lok Sabha Elections: Ravi Nair
Lok Sabha Elections 2019 – Calling The Election Commission To Account: Statement By Retired Civil Servants, Veterans, Academics And Concerned Citizens
EC Misleads Public With Bogus RTI Reply On VVPAT Count: Poonam Agarwal
RTI Reveals Pvt Consultants Have EVM Access, Why is EC Denying It? POONAM AGARWAL in The Quint.
The Election Commission of India has always maintained that no private company or outsourcing in any form is involved in the election process. But The Quint’s investigation has found this to not be true.
An RTI in The Quint’s possession shows that the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), a PSU that manufactures EVMs and VVPAT machines, engaged private engineers as “consultants” and that these private engineers have worked with the Election Commission in Assembly Elections since 2017 and even in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Their job was extremely sensitive – to check and maintain EVMs and VVPATs, starting from First level Checking (FLC) right up till and including the Counting Day, which means they had easy access to EVMs through the course of the elections.
Read the full article here.
Guest Post by RAGHAVAN SRINIVASAN
The Election Commission proved itself to be totally unequal to the task of curbing money power in the recent state assembly elections in Tamil Nadu. State funding of the electoral process holds a lot of promise in ensuring a level playing field for all participants.
If one were to add up the cash-for-votes given to voters during the recent TN assembly elections, as reported in the press, then the cost per vote would easily be the highest among all Indian States. Money paid to cadres during election campaigns, fees paid to advertising agencies, and direct cash transfers to voters – all provide a temporary euphoria in the economy. Everyone is happy since apparently there is no one who is left out. But the money for these huge expenditures have to come from somewhere and that is invariably, the people’s pockets.
The massive monitoring force deployed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) consisting of a battalion of general observers, police observers, expenditure observers, assistant expenditure observers, video surveillance teams, and others seized more than Rs. 105 crores of cash. Though a considerable sum, this was just the tip of the iceberg. Surely the observers would have recorded considerable evidence on other surreptitious methods of transferring cash-for-votes. In response to petitions against this blatant violation of electoral rules, the Commission first postponed elections in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur constituencies and issued notices to two political parties on freebies in their election manifestos. The ECI did not exercise the plenary powers conferred to it under the Constitution to countermand/cancel these elections at that point.
However, in a first in India’s electoral history, the Election Commission decided on May 28 to rescind the notification and conduct polls afresh “in due course of time” to these two Tamil Nadu Assembly seats following evidence of use of money to influence voters. The Election Commission said it took the decision after considering reports of observers, special teams of central observers, report of the special team of observers of Aravakurichi and Thanjavur constituencies and representations of contesting candidates.
This is unfortunately, only the tip of the iceberg.
Continue reading The right time to decide on state funding of polls: Raghavan Srinivasan