- AAP's Saurabh Bharadwaj demonstrated how EVMs are rigged
- Special one-day session of Delhi assembly was held on Tuesday
- BJP lawmaker Vijender Gupta expelled from the assembly
Mr Bharadwaj, who introduced himself as a former computer science engineer, rigged a mock poll on a machine "similar to an EVM" that he carried to the assembly and alleged, "There are secret codes that can be used to decide on the day of voting which candidate can win."
He claimed that to game a machine, "only the motherboard needs to be changed and that can be done in 90 seconds."
His demonstration on Tuesday, he said, was meant to show that "any machine can be rigged or hacked," making a case for reverting to paper ballot, AAP's key demand for recent elections.
"Give us access to the EVMs that will be used in the Gujarat elections (later this year) for only three hours...I challenge the BJP will not win a single booth then," Mr Bharadwaj said.
The machine used on Tuesday by AAP is a prototype created by IIT alumni and tested by "EVM experts," according to the party. It has challenged critics to prove that it "has even one per cent difference," a claim instantly rubbished by sources in the election commission. They said any one can assemble a prototype and challenged AAP to rig an actual EVM at a hackathon it plans to prove that its vote machines cannot be manipulated.
Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said he accepted the challenge and sought a date. AAP has said it made repeated requests but was not given access by the Election Commission to an original EVM to prove its charge that it can be tampered. The party alleges that voting machines have been manipulated to help the BJP post massive wins in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls and Delhi civic elections recently, which saw AAP decimated just two years after it swept assembly elections.
On Tuesday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal invited leaders of other parties like the Left, Trinamool Congress and Janata Dal United to watch the demonstration from the Delhi Assembly's visitors' gallery. Soon after assembly proceedings began, the BJP's Vijendra Gupta was thrown out of the house for creating a ruckus; the Speaker called in marshals to evict Mr Gupta, one of four BJP legislators in the house.
Also in the house was sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra, whose allegations of corruption against Mr Kejriwal have plunged AAP into its latest crisis. He scoffed at the EVM demo saying, "Now they will tell the people that there is something wrong with your fingers that they press the wrong buttons to vote for other parties."
Mr Mishra has, among other things, alleged that he saw Mr Kejriwal take Rs. 2 crore from another minister, Satyendar Jain, at his home last Friday and filed complaints with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) this morning.
Except for a tweet to say the "Truth will prevail," Mr Kejriwal has been silent on Mr Mishra's allegations. The BJP and the Congress have demanded his resignation and held protests in the capital.
AAP says Mr Mishra is making "wild and baseless allegations" because he was sacked as minister for non-performance.