Skip to main content

EVM manipulation? BJP candidates 'couldn't enter' villages in western UP, yet won

By Sandeep Pandey, Vikrant Singh, Pawan Singh, Devesh Patel* 

Even though Yogi Adityanath is now back as Chief Minister, the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election results can at best be taken with a pinch of salt. The general mood during the campaign was for change. People wanted the Bhartiya Janata Party government to go.
People belonging to communities other than Yadav and Muslim, who were anyway believed to be solidly standing with Samajwadi Party, wanted to see Akhilesh Yadav back as CM, who was drawing more people in his rallies than either Yogi or Modi. However, results were contrary to common people’s expectations.
It is difficult to believe that in Lakhimpur Khiri, where Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s son mowed done five people, the Minister was warned by Rakesh Tikait, the farmer leader, to not go for inauguration of a sugar mill otherwise he would face the ire of farmers, the Minister had to cast his own vote during the same elections amidst high security of central forces and people were agitated on bail given to the son Ashish Mishra, the BJP has won all seats.
Similarly, in Hathras reserved constituency, in spite of a gruesome rape of a Dalit girl last year, her death in hospital later, cremation of her body by police in early hours of morning instead of handing it over to her family and administration appearing to be trying to save the four upper caste accused men, there was resentment among people but here again BJP has been victorious.
The affect of farmers’ movement in western UP was such that BJP candidates could not enter some villages for campaigning. This was bound to adversely impact BJP’s performance in the first phase of election and then it was assumed that BJP would not be able to recover in subsequent phases from the setback it’ll receive here.
Just before the elections were announced, Shikha Pal, B.Ed., was atop an overhead water tank for over 150 days at the Education Directorate in Lucknow demanding that vacant teachers’ positions be filled with qualified candidates.
Ambulance drivers, who were compared with God during Corona crisis and on whom the state government had showered flower petals from helicopter were laid off by the private company which had the contract with government to run the service, were protesting and in spite of intervention by Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh associated trade union Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh there was no favourable response.
How do we believe that youth who got beaten up in Prayagraj in the context of Railway recruitment controversy and their families could support BJP? There was widespread anger among youth related to jobs just before the elections.
Two things which seemed to be going in favour of BJP were the Kisan Samman Nidhi and the free ration distribution. However, before the fourth phase stray cattle became an issue so much so that Narendra Modi had to declare in Unnao that, if re-elected, the BJP government would buy the cowdung and Yogi Adityanath promised Rs 900 per month per cattle to help the farmers meet the cost of keeping unproductive cattle.
Stray cattle had become irritants for farmers as early as 2017, soon after Yogi took over the reins in UP the first time but the BJP had somehow managed to avoid an electoral debacle because of this in 2019. But the stray cattle caught up with them this time and then it became obvious that the Kisan Samman Nidhi or the free ration was actually a compensation to farmers for the crops which were being devoured by stray cattle. The farmers have been a harassed lot keeping awake all night trying to save their standing crops.
How, then, was the BJP, facing such tremendous odds, able to pull through? Were Electronic Voting Machines manipulated or did the government machinery help BJP win?
Just before the counting day, 10 March, EVMs or ballot papers were caught in Azamgarh, Prayagraj, Bareilly, Sonebhadra, Sant Kabir Nagar and Varanasi, mostly in government vehicles. This gives an indication that there were attempts by the administration to alter the EVMs or ballot papers probably in large number of constituencies.
It is just that at the abovementioned places they were caught because the information was probably leaked by one among the government employees, not all of whom were sympathetic to the government this time. Government officials have been known to change ballot boxes in the past.
Just before the counting day, EVMs were caught in Azamgarh, Prayagraj, Bareilly, Sonebhadra, Sant Kabir Nagar and Varanasi, mostly in government vehicles
It is quite possible that they indulge in EVM replacements now. Reports from some counting centres indicate that there were EVMs close to 99% charged which were yielding results in favour of BJP more than compared with other EVMs which were just 60-70% charged. Could these almost fully charged EVMs have been the replaced ones?
Out of 29 constituencies in which the margin of victory was less than 2000 votes, the BJP has won 19. In 15 seats where the margin of victory was less than 1000 votes the number of postal ballots is more than the victory margin.
So, in seats where the margin of victory was small, it may have been possible to merely manipulate the postal ballots to change the result without doing anything to the EVMs. For example, in Kursi Vidhan Sabha constituency in Barabanki district, the Samajwadi Party candidate Rakesh Verma was declared winner. When he returned after garlanding the statue of his late father Beni Prasad Verma he was told that the BJP candidate Sakendra Pratap had won by 217 votes. The number of postal ballots here was 618.
To lay to rest any lingering doubt in the minds of electorate that EVMs were changed or tampered with, the Election Commission of India could present before the people, even now, the results of counting the VVPAT slips for all centres and all machines. Right now there is a provision to verify result from EVM with VVPAT slips counting at 5 randomly chosen booths of every Assembly constituency.
But these results are never reported in press. ECI should bring some transparency in this process and undertake 100% counting of VVPAT slips. This would also satisfy the people who demand going back to the ballot paper system as counting 100% slips would be akin to counting ballot papers.
---
*Associated with Socialist Party (India); Prof Sandeep Pandey is Magsaysay award winning social activist and academic

Comments

reena said…
It is a great website.. The Design looks very good.. Keep working like that!.
reena said…
It is a great website.. The Design looks very good.. Keep working like that!.
reena said…
The article was up to the point and described the information very effectively. Thanks to blog author for wonderful and informative post.

TRENDING

Unlike Soviet Union, Russia is no friend to India: Ukrainian scholar tells 'Indian friends'

Counterview Desk In an open letter to "dear Indian friends", Anastasia Piliavsky, born in Odessa, Ukraine, studied at Boston and Oxford Universities (on a Rhodes Scholarship), and now teaches at King’s College, London, has said that she faces "deep moral dilemma", personally and professionally, over the "astonishingly unified Indian response to the war in Ukraine." Based on her interaction with a "number of thoughtful and caring Indian friends", in this letter, she says, she is "reeling at the ubiquitous silence at, justifications of or outright support for Putin’s terror, which now prevails in India, at the ubiquitous #IStandWithPutin and #istandwithrussia hashtags." She insists, India must understand, "Unlike the Soviet Union, Russia is no friend to India. Soviet leaders, beginning with (the Ukrainian) Nikita Khrushchev – who declared hindi rusi bhai bhai – built up deep political and cultural exchange with India." Text : I

Teesta treaty? Modi sends ball to Mamata's court amidst Hasina's mango diplomacy

By Samina Akhter*  Most Bangladeshi and India media reports say that the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has received 600 kg of mangoes from Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as part of her "mango-hilsa diplomacy." Hasina also delivered mangoes to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi this month, according to the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in India. In all, 1,200 kg of Amrapali mangoes were delivered to the residences of the President and the Prime Minister of India. According to a Bangladesh's deputy high commission official in Kolkata, a few more chief ministers in the eastern region will likely receive similar gifts. Last year, not only President Kovind and Prime Minister Modi, but also the chief ministers of West Bengal, Tripura, and Assam also received mangoes from Prime Minister Hasina. Hasina delivered mangoes from Rajshahi, including kinds like Golapkhas and Amrapali, as it is the peak season for the delectable fruit in

Technocratic globalism, tyranny? Health Ministry warned: bill to 'enslave' Indians

Sandeep Pandey, Tushar Gandhi By Rosamma Thomas*  Union of Concerned Citizens, a group comprising Magsaysay Award winner Prof Sandeep Pandey, human rights activist Tushar Gandhi, former judge of the Bombay High Court BG Kolse Patil, pediatrician Dr Jacob Puliyel and several renowned Indian citizens have written to the Union Health Minister cautioning him against tabling the draft Public Health Bill in the Monsoon Session of Parliament. “The Public Health (Prevention, Control And Management Of Epidemics, Bio-Terrorism And Disasters) Bill, 2017 and a Prospective Bill of 2022 as discussed in news articles, is straightforwardly violative of Fundamental Rights of the citizens of India and therefore, Ultra Vires of the Indian Constitution. It contravenes several International Treaties and Conventions including the Nuremberg Treaty of 1947 which was enacted to ensure that no country would repeat such inhuman medical atrocities on fellow human beings”, the 12-page letter reads. “Strangely, t

Cops 'refuse to register' complaint after BSF shot landless worker off Bangla border

By Our Representative  Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), and national convener, Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI), in a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), referring to the incident of “firing and execution” of a poor Muslim youth, has alleged that the 26 year old was was shot at “without giving any warning” one and half kilometers inside the Indian territory from Bangladesh border by an on- duty Border Security Force (BSF) personnel. Stating that the person, Ruhul Mondal, belonged to an Other Backward Class (OBC), and hailed from Ramnarayan Para village under Sagarpara police station in Murshidabad district, West Bengal, Roy in his representation said, the BSF person who shot at him is “attached with Singpara Border Outpost, 141 Battalion”, underlining, the BSF has now floated “self defense theory” to cover up its operation. According to the BSF officials, the incident took place in the jute fields in

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Protesters demand release of Teesta Setalvad, Sreekumar, seek review of SC order

By Our Representative  Protests broke out across India on June 27 following Teesta Setalvad’s arrest demanding her immediate release. Sabrang India , a site run by Setalvad, claimed she was “arrested on trumped-up charges after the Supreme Court dismissed the petition moved by Zakia Jafri demanding an investigation into the larger conspiracy behind the 2002 Gujarat violence.” The protesters also demanded release of former DGP Gujarat police RB Sreekumar, also arrested simultaneously. The protests were preceded by over 2,200 people from across the globe signing a statement demanding their immediate release. Leading signatories such as People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) general secretary V Suresh, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) convenor Medha Patkar, former Naval chief Admiral Ramdas. “The state has used the observations made in the judgment to falsely and vindictively prosecute those who had struggled for justice even in the face of state callousness and complicit

Electoral bonds scheme 'compromises' voluntary nature PM relief fund donations

By Rosamma Thomas*  The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) is meant to collect voluntary donations from the general public, either individuals or organizations, to enable assistance to people in times of natural disaster, or for expensive medical treatment. That fundamental voluntary character of the fund, however, has changed in recent years.  The gazette notification of January 2018 announcing the Electoral Bond scheme states, in Clause 12 (2): “The amount of bonds not encashed within the validity period of fifteen days shall be deposited by the authorized bank to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund”. The Union government has, thus, through notification, directed funds to be deposited into what was meant to be purely voluntary. Commodore Lokesh Batra, who has been campaigning for transparency in government functioning, holds that once a gazette notification has been issued directing that funds be deposited into the PMNRF, the character of the whole fund has changed,

Bulldozing houses in UP: India isn't Israel, Muslims living here 'aren't Palestinians'

By Naveen Tewari, Sandeep Pandey*  A recent full front page of the advertisement by a Bhartiya Janata Party government declares, 'House is not just a word. It is a place where power to dream comes and aspirations are fulfilled. Home is much about dignity and security than it is about shelter.' It further goes on to quote Narendra Modi, 'It is my dream that every Indian has a pucca house by 2022.' The occasion was dedication of houses built by a private builder Balaji to the poor. Having witnessed over the past few days the now iconic picture of a bulldozer running down the Prayagraj house of parents of female Muslim student and activist Afreen Fatima, who participated in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens protests, one is almost tempted to look for a fine print at the bottom of the page to the effect that the promise of house is subject to the condition that one doesn't participate in any anti-government protest otherwis

Church in India: Rooted in patriarchy, Pope Francis-initiated reforms remain on paper

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is ‘Laity Sunday’ once again on June 26! A time for the Church once again to introspect and to see whether the much flaunted ‘lay collaboration’ actually exists in reality or not! In a highly clerical and patriarchal Church, which has stubbornly refused to accept in toto the changes envisaged by Vatican II and as desired by the then Popes John XXIII and Paul VI, introducing any reforms is certainly very difficult. But Pope Francis, in his typical style, is apparently succeeding in doing so! On March 19, 2022 (Feast of St Joseph) the ninth anniversary of the formal inauguration of his pontificate, he published Praedicate Evangelium (Preach the Gospel),his new constitution for the restructuring of the Vatican Curia. It was a reform that was promised at the beginning of his pontificate; several aspects of it have already been implemented over the years. The final document, however, does make some significant changes and provides the vision of a Curia that

'Highly abnormal': AltNews journo's arrest suggests 'deterioration in media freedom'

By Bharat Dogra*  Leading media organizations have come out in strong support of recently arrested journalist Mohammed Zubair. These organizations include, among others, the Editors Guild of India, the Press Club of India, the Delhi Union of Journalists and DIGIPUB, a platform for several important digital media organizations. All these organizations have condemned the recent arrest of the noted journalist and demanded his immediate release. While leading human rights organizations and political parties have also made somewhat similar statements, the strong support of media organizations is particularly important as the effort of the authorities has been to try to present the arrested journalist as someone who has been indulging in irresponsible journalism.  In such a situation the support of those media organizations who are familiar with his work and who are most capable of judging the quality of his work is very important. In this context it is important that some media organization