The Delhi Assembly poll results have gone totally in AAP’s favour, but at the same time it has led to legitimate, inevitable questions about the Kejriwal led party’s make-believe claims of “EVM tampering”.
At the forefront of AAP’s “EVM tampering” narrative was its MLA, Saurabh Bhardwaj. The legislator had carried out a laughable, staged demonstration of EVM hacking in 2017 in the Delhi Legislative Assembly. After the poll results, however, he won from the Greater Kailash constituency by a massive margin of 16,809 votes.
In fact, Bhardwaj secured 55.62 per cent of the total votes polled in the constituency on the same EVMs, which he had desperately tried to discredit in 2017.
He had demonstrated what he had claimed to be a “prototype EVM” developed by a group of IIT graduates, Bhardwaj had given a demonstration of how the EVMs could be hacked.
Even as his party had relied upon dramatics to show that the EVMs could be manipulated, the AAP lawmaker had claimed, “We are not making baseless allegations on EVM manipulation. With this demonstration, it has been proved that EVMs can actually be hacked.”
At that time, Bhardwaj and AAP had become a matter of derision for passing off a duplicate, EVM lookalike as a hackable device. Later, this “prototype” which was supposedly developed by IITans was selling on e-commerce website, Amazon for Rs. 1,700.
Despite his version getting discredited and ridiculed, Bhardwaj had gone even further with his “EVM tampering” allegations. In 2018, the AAP legislator had admitted in a tweet that Botswana opposition party president had met him, and AAP had assured the Botswanan leader that it will prove the vulnerability of the Indian EVMs in the highest court of Botswana.
And Bostwana Opposition Party president met me and we had assured to help them prove vulnerability of EVM in their Highest Court. https://t.co/5gsEjI0f6W
— Saurabh Bharadwaj (@Saurabh_MLAgk) August 3, 2018
The Election Commission had rejected the request of the Botswana government to give a demonstration and depose in favour of the EVMs in its court, given the preparations for Lok Sabha polls at that time.
Bhardwaj and AAP had thus put India’s reputation as the world’s biggest democracy on stake by spreading misinformation in other countries.
Bhardwaj had led AAP’s tirade against EVMs. Now, he has secured a massive victory on the same Electronic Voting Machines that he had desperately discredited once.
In fact, his party has stormed to power on the basis of the EVMs and therefore the propaganda against EVMs has fizzled out for the time being. It remains to be seen if Bhardwaj, who has been elected twice after voting on EVMs will mend his ways in the future, or if he will continue casting aspersions on India’s electoral system.