EVMs can be manipulated, says Chandrababu Naidu

Khammam/Hyderabad: Sounding a word of caution on EVMs, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu Wednesday said they can be ‘manipulated’ and asked people to check with the VV PAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) machines after voting in the 7 December assembly elections.

Naidu was speaking at a public meeting at Khammam, where he shared the dais with AICC President Rahul Gandhi for the first time after forging a four party alliance, at an election rally here.

“I request all of you… we are using EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines). I want you to be careful with EVMs. After casting your votes, it will be displayed. Check that also. We have a right to check and know whom we voted for. I am well versed with technology. Even cell phones can be be tapped,” he said and claimed that VV PAT was introduced only on his demand.

Later, speaking at a roadshow in Hyderabad, he asked voters to be careful with EVMs “because there is a chance to manipulate them.” “Everybody should be cautious. You can check whom you voted for through VV PAT. If it not clear, then you can lodge a complaint (with the Election Commission),” he said.

Naidu reiterated that there is a ‘historic necessity’ for all non-BJP political parties to align and fight the NDA government, which, he alleged, was destroying institutions like the Reserve Bank of India, Income Tax Department, Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The Chief Minister said that he would convene a meeting of all non-NDA parties on December 10 and demanded that the TRS and MIM make their stand clear on who they support. “I am requesting you (people)… if you vote for TRS or MIM, it will benefit the BJP,” he said.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s TRS has friendly ties with AIMIM of Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi. Attacking Rao, Naidu claimed that it was the TDP which was responsible for the political career of KCR (as Rao is popularly called).

Rao was a minister in the Chandrababu Naidu government in undivided Andhra Pradesh. The Chief Minister maintained that he had never been an obstacle for the development of Telangana. Rao and other TRS leaders have frequently targeted Chandrababu Naidu, calling him an outsider and anti-Telangana leader who created hurdles in the way of Telangana’s development during his stewardship of the undivided state.

TDP is contesting 13 assembly segments in Telangana as part of the ‘Peoples Front’ led by Congress. Telangana has 119 Assembly seats. TDP won 15 seats in the 2014 elections, but 13 legislators deserted the outfit, with 12 joining TRS and one the Congress.