New Delhi, The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday said the Election Commission had “completely failed in its duty” to protect the integrity of the electoral process vis-a-vis the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
The commission had thus failed in its “constitutional obligation” of conducting free and fair elections, the AAP said in a statement here.
The AAP’s remarks came after a video clipping of testing of an EVM during a demonstration before the media in Madhya Pradesh went viral. The EVM allegedly printed slips in favour of a particular party even though different buttons were pressed.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had urged the Election Commission on Saturday to investigate the cases of faulty EVMs to ascertain if they were tampered with to favour the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the just-concluded assembly elections in Punjab, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Goa.
In turn, the commission on Sunday asked the AAP to introspect why it could not perform as per its expectations in Punjab and Goa and said it was unfair to blame its “unsatisfactory poll performance” on the EVMs.
In the statement, AAP said: “It is unfortunate that instead of taking due action, the Election Commission is issuing political statement on the issue of EVM tampering.”
It said the incident in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh proved that EVMs were not tamper-proof.
“The incident has shaken the faith of millions of Indian voters in the impartiality of the Election Commission and the entire process of elections in which EVMs are used,” it said.
The party urged the commission to take immediate action to what it said was restore the faith of the common man in the electoral process “for the sake of the institution’s dignity and credibility”.
“Turning a blind eye to the shocking reports trickling in from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and now Madhya Pradesh will serve no purpose but only erode the credibility of the commission.”
The Delhi civic polls will be conducted on April 23 in which around 12,000 EVMs are expected to be used.