Senior Congress leaders on Thursday demanded the withdrawal of electronic voting machines in the forthcoming jilla and taluka panchayat elections.
Dubbing the outcome of the corporation elections as 'machine magic, not Modi Magic', Congress president Siddharth Patel said the EVMs have been tampered with on a mass scale.
"Voting preference of a voter can be tampered using the simple bluetooth technology available today. Only 25% of votes were cast till 4.00 pm. Then in the last one hour, 20% of the votes were cast," Patel, along with former Union minister Shankersinh Vaghela and leader of opposition Shaktisinh Gohil, told mediapersons on Thursday.
He said besides the fact that it is not humanly possible for so many people to cast votes in such a little time, it must also be noted that the crowd to justify such high number of voting was not seen outside the booths - as per media and intelligence bureau reports.
Vaghela said he had information that earlier a senior officer in the chief minister's office was specially summoned from the US to work closely on EVMs. "The EVMs were stored in government offices where the officials had access to them. It is possible to tamper with them," Vaghela asserted.
The leaders further elaborated that countries like Germany have also banned electronic voting because it has been accepted that the machines can be tampered with.
"The EVMs in Gujarat were manufactured for Gujarat by a little-known company based in Hyderabad eight years ago," Vaghela added. Congress leaders have sought a detailed inquiry into the matter about excess voting in the last hour and have demanded that a committee comprising members of BJP, Congress and technical experts be constituted.
"If a satisfactory inquiry into the matter is not carried out, we will be forced to approach the court for a legal recourse," Gohil said.