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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Bawana bypoll: Kejriwal dares BJP to use VVPAT in every poll

The Aam Aadmi Party won the Bawana bypoll by a margin of 24,052 votes. BJP came in second though the number of votes it got dropped by almost half since 2015 assembly polls. Congress has more than doubled its tally of votes over the 2015 assembly elections.

delhi Updated: Aug 28, 2017 23:13 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal at his residence, after AAP candidate Ram Chandra won the Bawana bypoll in New Delhi on Monday.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal at his residence, after AAP candidate Ram Chandra won the Bawana bypoll in New Delhi on Monday. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Buoyed by a thumping victory in the Bawana bypoll, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday dared the BJP to use VVPAT, a paper trail audit which lets voters check if the vote has gone to the candidate they chose, in every election.

Addressing AAP workers at his residence, Kejriwal raked up the issue of alleged manipulation of electronic voting machines to needle the BJP, saying that “EVM mischief” was behind the saffron party’s recent upsurge.

Kejriwal said, by reposing faith on the AAP, voters of Bawana have sent out the message that BJP’s politics of “breaking away MLAs from other parties using the lure of money” has come a cropper in Delhi.

“They tried to buy many of our MLAs, contacted many, but only one turned out to be a traitor. One thing is clear, we are of a different mettle. And if any one sells himself, then the people of Delhi will leave him in a position where he will not be able to show his face in public anymore,” the AAP chief said.

Kejriwal’s outburst comes after a prolonged period of uncharacteristic silence, following AAP’s string of poll debacles which included the drubbings in Punjab, Goa, a Delhi bye-election and the municipal polls here.

“Try and conduct all polls using VVPAT-equipped EVMs if you (the BJP) have the guts. Then tally the votes polled with the paper trail at 5 or 15 per cent of the polling booths. You do mischief in EVMs then claim victory,” he said.

The VVPAT machine dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box, but the voter cannot take it home.

The voters, however, can see the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slip for seven seconds.

VVPAT machines were used in the Bawana bypoll and also in the Rajouri Garden bypoll last May, when the BJP had emerged victorious.

The chief minister also warned the BJP-led Centre not to “disrupt” his government’s work in the national capital by “throwing spanners”, a complaint which the AAP chief has been making repeatedly since storming to power in 2015.

First Published: Aug 28, 2017 23:13 IST

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