Gujarat’s Chief Electoral Officer, BB Swain, first claimed that there was ‘100% match’ between the EVMs and the slips of VVPAT machines. But, the same PTI report also quoted Swain as saying that at least on four booths, there were mismatch of paper slips and votes counted on EVMs.
Swain said that they were at Vagra, Dwarka, Ankleshwar and Bhavnagar- Rural seats.
“There was a mismatch of some votes on one booth each of these four seats. This occurred because the Returning Officer must have made the same mistake but it could not be detected earlier. So we took into account VVPAT slips for these booths during the counting and resolved the issue,” he was quoted as saying.
Swain’s confession, hidden in the body of the PTI report carried by News18, assumes significance since there have already been allegations of EVMs tampering by opposition leaders including Hardik Patel and Sanjay Nirupam.
According to Swain, the EC had decided to match the tally in select polling stations amid allegations that the EVMs were compromised to help the BJP.
The topic is now gaining momentum of on social media as some began to question the authenticity of the assembly results in Gujarat.
One user Ravi Gautam posted a series of tweets asking questions on the credibility of the results announced on Monday.
He wrote, “There were mismatch between EVM and VVPAT slips on 4 out of 182 seats. so more than 2% mismatch. 2% vote share is questionable. that is 6 lakhs votes.”
2) There were mismatch between EVM and VVPAT slips on 4 out of 182 seats. so more than 2% mismatch. 2% vote share is questionable. that is 6 lakhs votes.
— Ravi Gautam (@gautamravi168) December 19, 2017
In few more tweets, Gautam wrote, “Accepting the premises set by EC that 1 booth per constituency is representative sample. number of booths = 50128. questionable booths = 4*50128/182 = 1102 EC accepted that there were 4 mismatch. 1102 possible mismatched booth in 182 constituency. so approximately 6 mismatched booth per constituency. One EVM can store around 3800 votes. assuming on average EVM were half filled, so total number of questionable votes per seat = 11400 (sic)”
“In general, the average victory margin in state assembly is 5000-6000 votes… In conclusion, the entire result can change within the error margin of EVM system. This has nothing to do with hacking. this was simple calculation for variability from election commission data. EC must tell what were the votes in EVM and VVPAT. and how did EC conclude that the mismatch was because of old data? EVM do not record time, as far as I know. (sic)”
Blogger James Wilson wrote, “If the above thread is true, our stenography specialised expert journalists are now taken the contact of white washing ECI & failed the nation to inform the truth. Bhakti is a disease!!”
Hardik on Tuesday had once again alleged that EVM tampering was behind the BJP’s ability to scrape through majority mark in the state assembly.
He said that around 12-13 seats ‘were messed around with…seats which made ministers win.’ “The Patels opposed them, OBCs opposed them, Dalits opposed them, traders opposed them, so who voted for them?” He was quoted by NDTV.
BJP had won 99 seats in the Gujarat assembly, 16 down from its performance in 2012, while a resurgent Congress had improved its tally to 80, an increase of 19 seats.
Although, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, did not make any reference to EVMs, one of his senior leaders in Maharashtra, Sanjay Nirupam, has tweeted on Monday alleging the machines’ role in ensuring the BJP’s victory in Gujarat.
Janta Ka Reporter had carried a two-part series exposing the Election Commission’s claims on the infallibility of the EVMs. (You can read them here and here). Our investigation had also found a potential nexus between the beneficiaries of Rs 20,000 crore gas scam of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation and the company that make microchips for EVMs in India.