EVMs “manipulation”: Sharad Pawar, Naidu voice concerns over

NEW DELHI: As the snags in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were reported from different polling stations across the states, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar voice concern over “manipulation.”

Naidu on Tuesday alleged that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are vulnerable to “hacking and programming errors”, and urged the Election Commission (EC) to check all polling machines after elections.

Addressing media here, Naidu said, “We have serious doubts about EVMs. I am a strong supporter of technology. But today, technology is very vulnerable. Every six months technology is changing. There are also technical problems, vulnerability and also malfunctioning. Only three countries out of the ten most populous countries in the world use EVMs. These countries are also not technologically strong.”

“The present government is destroying all democratic institutions one by one. EC is an independent body and its job is to ensure level playing field for all political parties. Today if we see the elections all political parties are being subjected to harassment. In Andhra, every raid of Income Tax and ED is happening on TDP, in Karnataka, JDS and Congress are being targeted. In Maharashtra NCP and Congress are being targeted,” he claimed.

During a joint press conference in Mumbai, Pawar said: “I have been to several constituencies. The people are in a mood to change (the government), they want a change both at the Centre and in the state. There is no question (about it),” Pawar was quoted by leading news agency as saying.

“Our only worry is someone misusing this technology to manipulate elections…Our worry is manipulation through these machines,” Pawar added.

Congress leader Sushil Shinde, AAP leader Sanjay Singh and other leaders from opposition parties were also present during the media briefing.

With agency inputs