Written by Vaibhav Jha
The secret ballot is no more a secret. Several voters were found posting pictures of EVM, showing whom they voted for, on social media platforms on Tuesday, thus violating the model code of conduct.
According to the EC guidelines, usage of mobile or cordless phones or wireless sets inside polling booths is prohibited and counts as a violation of the model code of conduct.
However, on Tuesday, many social media users were seen posting pictures of themselves pressing the 'vote button' on the EVMs on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook in Ahmedabad, Surat and other cities.
Akram Shah, co-incharge of Surat BJP Minority Morcha tweeted a photo of his voter ID card kept on an EVM, with red light bleeping adjacent to a candidate's photo, as a "proof" of him voting. Shah posted the picture after a Twitter user demanded proof from him that he had voted for a specific party.
Asked about the violation, Shah said he did the same as many others were doing it. "I was not stopped by anyone inside the polling booth, while I was clicking the picture." Other social media users like Rahul Patil from Surat and Anand Kumar from Ahmedabad also posted their pictures pressing the vote button. "I was not stopped by any security personnel inside the polling booth," Patil said. Kumar said he was not aware of any such EC guidelines.
"We are looking into such cases. Using cellphones to click pictures of EVM violates the privacy of voting process. However, it is not a deliberate violation committed by the voters," said Ahmedabad Collector Vikrant Pandey .