The demonstrators raised slogans and carried placards calling for an end to EVM tampering.
While demanding that only verifiable paper record or Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)-equipped EVMs be used in future elections, Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers today held protests outside the Election Commission (EC) headquarters in the national capital. The protesters, including AAP legislators and newly appointed Delhi convener Gopal Rai, alleged that the manipulation of electronic voting machines is killing democracy.
"EVM manipulation is a real possibility and should be looked into immediately," said RK Gupta, an AAP worker.
The demonstrators raised slogans against the poll body and held placards calling for an end to alleged tampering of EVMs. Mr Rai said, "Voices have been raised in Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand against EVM tampering."
This is how the BJP won polls in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, said another party member Pragati from Mundka, adding, "Even the division along caste lines could not have helped them with such a huge victory."
Most protesters insisted that AAP legislator Saurabh Bharadwaj's live demonstration on EVM manipulation in the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday proved that voting machines can be rigged.
Mr Bharadwaj had conducted a televised hack of a voting machine assembled by IIT graduates which they claimed was an accurate replica of the EVM. The half-hour presentation aimed to show that the EVMs are not hard to rig and "it's not rocket science". The Election Commission rejected the party's claim calling their prototype an imitation that would fail even the most basic tests that the EVMs go through before actual polling and stressed that the machines are tamper-proof.
The party is confident that Mr Bharadwaj will be able to produce similar results at a hackathon that the Election Commission will conduct later this month.
The AAP also plans to approach the Election Commission with the request that votes registered in EVMs and paper trails of 25 per cent randomly chosen booths be tallied.
Besides AAP, other parties including the BSP and Congress have also challenged the legitimacy of EVMs. However, the Commission has said that the next general election in 2019 will use only upgraded machines that offer instant evidence of the vote recorded by printing a paper receipt that is visible before it drops into a sealed box.
VVPAT-equipped EVMs dispense paper slips that help voters know that their vote has gone to the candidate of their choice. (With inputs from PTI)