New Delhi: The Congress on Friday alleged tampering with the electronic voting machines (EVMs) used in the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) polls and demanded that the election be held again with paper ballots and the counting of votes under CCTV surveillance.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said the party was also considering the legal options to get the polls countermanded after the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the students’ wing of the party, bagged just one of the four DUSU posts and the rest went to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
“Our main demand is that the Delhi University students’ council polls be held again using ballot papers and the vote counting under CCTV surveillance,” he told a press meet.
“We are examining all the aspects of moving the court,” Maken said, when asked whether the Congress would seek legal recourse after the NSUI’s defeat in the DUSU polls.
He added that the Congress and the NSUI would stage protests in the Delhi University on the issue.
The Congress leader alleged that whenever EVM malfunctioning was reported, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ended up winning the polls and demanded that the Election Commission (EC) goes back to ballot-paper voting in all the forthcoming elections in the states and the Lok Sabha polls.
He also alleged that the EVMs were provided to the Delhi University by the ECIL, the company that supplied the machines to the EC.
Maken alleged that the EVMs used in the DUSU polls were of the EC, even though the poll panel clarified that they did not supply the machines.
“Why did the Delhi University not clarify where did they get the EVMs from?,” he asked.
The Congress leader also said the Delhi University did not clarify why did it take the EVMs from the ECIL without the permission of the EC, as the ECIL could not give the machines to anyone without the nod of the poll panel.
He alleged that ballot number 10, which did not exist on the EVMs, got 40 votes, asking, “How is this possible?”
“We have been asking the Delhi University for the last two years to use VVPATs in the polls, but all the requests have been ignored,” Maken said.
The Congress leader also trained his guns on the Aam Aadmi Party’s Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), claiming that the students’ wing of Delhi’s ruling party had got less votes in the DUSU polls than even NOTA.
“It shows how their popularity has drastically fallen even among the youth. They polled 13,781 votes, while the NOTA votes were 15,083. This is even less than what the CYSS had polled in 2015 when it had contested alone, while this time, they were in an alliance with the AISA. Will (Delhi Chief Minister Arvind) Kejriwal answer now?,” he asked.
Outgoing DUSU vice-president Kunal Sehrawat claimed that of the 126 EVMs used in the polls, the votes of only 119 EVMs were counted and when questioned about it, the election officials refused to answer.
Congress joint secretary in-charge of NSUI Ruchi Gupta claimed that when the EVMs malfunctioned during the counting of votes, the ABVP activists were relaxed as they knew that this was happening in their favour.
“The data of at least seven EVMs is missing. This is the first time vote counting was postponed in the DU polls,” she said, adding that the NSUI had done real good work in the university.
Gupta claimed that the NSUI was leading in the race for the post of DUSU president in the first few rounds, but suddenly the EVMs malfunctioned and the ABVP won.