MCD elections 2017: Two days before poll verdict, AAP smells rat

The Aam Aadmi Party today expressed apprehension that the MCD poll results, slated to be declared on April 26, could be “rigged” and the ground for it was being prepared by “floating” exit polls predicting a BJP sweep.

AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal. (PTI)

The Aam Aadmi Party today expressed apprehension that the MCD poll results, slated to be declared on April 26, could be “rigged” and the ground for it was being prepared by “floating” exit polls predicting a BJP sweep. The Election Commission “deliberately” used old electronic voting machines (M1 and M2 models), even though new generation M3 machines were at its disposal, AAP Delhi convenor Dilip Pandey claimed and termed the MCD polls, held yesterday, as the most “mismanaged” election ever.

However, the poll watchdog maintained that all the EVMs were tamper-proof and the latest variants had additional features such as ‘tamper detection’ and ‘self-diagnostics’. “If this (BJP sweep) is what the exit polls are saying, it is clear that the EVMs have been tampered with and these fake exit polls are being put out to prepare a ground for the rigged results.

“Lakhs of generation 2 and generation 3 EVMs were available with the Election Commission which were VVPAT equipped. But, generation 1 machines were deliberately used to ensure that the VVPATs (voter-verifiable paper audit trail) were not used,” Pandey told PTI. The VVPAT-equipped EVMs dispense a paper slip which helps a voter confirm that his vote has indeed gone to the candidate of his choice.

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Asked about the party’s expectations in the MCD polls, a senior AAP leader, on the condition of anonymity, admitted that it was not confident of pulling off a huge victory but claimed that the exit poll predictions were “highly exaggerated, if not absurd”.

“I am not saying we will win all the three corporations. But, from the feedback we have received, it would be a travesty if the exit poll predictions turn out to be true. There is no BJP wave and our campaign on sanitation and corruption did create an impact,” he said.

According to the EC, the ‘tamper detection’ feature makes an EVM inoperative the moment anyone tries to open it, while the ‘self-diagnostics’ feature checks its hardware and software every time it is switched on. Two exit polls have predicted a landslide victory for the BJP in the MCD polls with over 200 of the 270 wards, where the election was held, in the saffron party’s kitty. The election was postponed in two wards due to the death of candidates.

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