the district collector and superintendent of police of Bhind, Madhya Pradesh, were removed while action was initiated against 19 others after a video of a dummy test of an electronic voting machine (EVM) that only ejected BJP slips went viral.
The video showed the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) only released the saffron party's lotus symbol even if different buttons were pressed. The Election Commission sought a report from 21 officials before the Ater bypoll on April 9.
The video went viral amidst the clamour of many politicians that the EVM machines were tampered with during the Assembly elections held recently.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has demanded that instead of EVMs, paper ballots be used by the EC for the upcoming municipal corporation elections in Delhi later this month. He also met Chief Election Commissioner Naseem Zaidi on Saturday to raise the issue.
"We have sought report from the chief secretary regarding the officials," Election Commissioner OP Rawat told TOI.
Kejriwal demanded that every EVMs should be checked.
"If some EVMs can be faulty, many others may also be tampered with. These reports are shocking and raise doubts about the essence of democracy in this country. This means that if this continues, no matter who people vote for, the lotus will bloom out of the muck of EVMs," he said. "Who is changing the software and how is not being checked," he said.
Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati had called for investigation on EVM tampering after her party was drubbed in the Uttar Pradesh elections while Kejriwal raised the same question for losing out in Punjab elections. Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat also brought similar charges after the Congress was routed in the hilly state. RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has demanded an investigation as well. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also sought an all-party meeting to discuss the matter.
"But how is it that all faulty machines only register votes in favour of BJP?" asked Kejriwal.