The Delhi University Students’ Union elections, held on Wednesday, were marred by issues of EVM malfunctions, followed by allegations that the EVMS were tampered with. Soon after, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEC) in Delhi issued a letter stating that the EVMs were not issued by the Election Commission.
However, the Congress-affiliated National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) said on Friday that the EVMs used in the elections were procured and serviced by the same company which supplies EVMs to the Election Commission of India.
A circular dated 10 September from the office of the Chief Election Officer, DUSU elections, confirms this. It states that the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) would hold a training session on EVMs ahead of the polls.
At a press conference on Friday, Congress leader Ajay Maken said, “ECIL is the company that supplied EVMs to Delhi University. Without Election Commission of India’s permission, ECIL cannot supply EVMs to anyone.”
The letter from the CEC’s office had stated that “it seems that the Delhi University has procured these machines privately. A detailed report in this regard will be sent subsequently as all the officials of Delhi University are not available and busy in their election process at present”.
“It is ECIL that supplies EVMs to the ECI and even did a training on September 11, one day before polling in DU,” said Ruchi Gupta, national-in-charge of NSUI and AICC joint secretary.
A News18 report quoted an ECIL official as saying that the EVMs were purchased by DU long ago and belonged to the university.
“NSUI has in the last two years twice demanded reforms in the election process including the use of EVMs equipped with VVPAT and EVM-wise votes polled,” the NSUI statement said. “However, these demands have been rejected by the DU EC every year, which has undermined the integrity of the entire election process. We demand repoll in Delhi University with paper ballot.”
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has won three of the four posts in DUSU, with NSUI getting only the secretary post.