Skeptics who are now convinced that EVM tampering is possible have a question to ask: is tampering of electronic voting machines merely a theoretical proposition (as Prof Indiresan, ECI’s expert committee chairman would have you believe) or is there any ground level evidence of tampering?

The answer to this question lies in personal experiences and encounters of a number of senior political leaders with “EVM fixers”. From these personal accounts, it is evident that there is more to the EVM story than what meets the eye.

Take a look at some such shocking incidents narrated to me ever since I began to explore electronic voting machines in the wake of surprising election outcomes. The first such incident relates to fixing by insider-technicians having easy access to the voting machines.

 Insider ‘Fixing’

(Want EVMs fixed? Pay Rs. 5 Crore)

Weeks after elections to the Maharashtra state assembly in October last year, Omesh Saigal, a retired IAS officer and a whistle blower on the poor security of electronic voting machines narrated an incident to me about EVM tampering.

  “I was in Maharastra in October last year. I met an ex-MP from the Congress party there. He confirmed my worst fears about EVMs”, Saigal said.

“What did you hear from him”, I queried.

“The ex-MP’s son stood for the Maharastra assembly elections recently. The ex-MP told me that they were approached by some “authorized” engineers (apparently representing one of the EVM manufacturers) who offered to manipulate election results in 50% of the polling stations of his assembly constituency for the princely sum of Rs. 5 Crore. The engineers said that the candidate could choose whichever polling stations he wanted manipulated.”

“Scandalous. What happened then?” I asked Saigal.

“The ex-MP refused to believe them. He said that this couldn’t be true. The engineers gave some (client) references to him and asked him to verify for himself, if he so desired”, Saigal added.

The son of the ex-MP lost his elections. He thinks that his election may have been stolen by his rivals employing unethical means. He and his father have  joined the ever growing list of people who have no trust in EVMs.

I promptly incorporated this incident in my book on EVMs released in February this year. Later, speaking at the function to launch www.indianEVM.com website on April 12 this year, Saigal narrated this incident publicly before the entire media.

 Unlike most of us who do not belong to the clan of election commissioners, Omesh Saigal has been a fellow IAS officer who has served in several key positions in the government as chief secretary, Delhi and Secretary to the government of India. Present chief election commissioner Navin Chawla was a contemporary of Omesh Saigal from the union territories cadre in the IAS. They know each other quite well.

Election Commission of India, brimming with a false sense of pride that nothing can o wrong with its checks and balances, has not taken even such specific accounts seriously. Should the Commission want to get details in this regard, Omesh Saigal was only too willing to reveal all the information in his possession.

Would the Commission care to initiate an enquiry into similar incidents?

 I can be contacted at nrao@indianEVM.com





This entry was posted on Thursday, May 27th, 2010 at 4:06 AM and is filed under EVM FIXERS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “EVM ‘FIXERS’ DEMAND HEFTY SUMS (Part 1)”

  1. reddy krc Says:

    The election commission must conduct a judicial enqiry at national level without any delay to demonstrate their loyalty to the indian constitution if they want to continue the usage of EVMs in any of the future elections.The evidence/statement of bold&sincere officers like Omesh Saigal or any other willing person with technical knowledge must be recorded by the presiding judge to safegaurd the Indian democracy.