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An open letter to Arvind Kejriwal from Kashmir
Dear Mr Arvind Kejriwal,
Two and a half years ago your party Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was elected to rule Delhi through EVMs after getting unprecedented absolute majority in the legislature winning 67 seats out of 70. I could neither believe my eyes nor my ears. But then that is what it is.
Now BJP has similarly won in UP & UK with absolute majority winning more than 75% seats which again can’t be digested by me nor Behn Mayawati. For sure Modiji must have manipulated the EVMs as claimed by you, Mayawati, Rahul and JDU. I really feel concerned. We all must get back to old ways of paper ballots & ballot boxes at least in Delhi where there are hardly any chances of booth capturing, fake identities, replacement of ballot boxes with pre-stamped ballots etc. We must fight for this right vehemently notwithstanding some of my reservations about the system which was in vogue prior to EVMs. I had funny experience of elections since my childhood. I am recounting a few. When I was about 12 or 13 years old, I was appointed as a relieving agent by a National Conference candidate, Ghazi Abdul Rehman in S R Gunj constituency in Kashmir. I was handed over a ballot to cast which I did though I was a minor and was not prevented or checked by anyone. My second experience was years later when I volunteered to stand guard of ballot boxes in treasury where I was beaten and asked to leave in order the Government of the time could manipulate ballot boxes. I came to know from my fellow volunteers that they were accompanying ballot boxes from a distant place and en route they were thrashed by some hooligans and all the ballot boxes were changed with pre-stamped ballot boxes. Later on a Deputy Commissioner of Anantnag, nick named Khaliq DC, refused to entertain my uncles nomination papers and oath and declared the other candidate as uncontested MP from Anantnag. I thought maybe it is peculiar to J&K where election observers maintain that not a single election was allowed to be free and fair except the one during Morarji Desais time. Later in 90’s I was residing in Pragati Vihar Hostel Delhi and was asked by someone to cast my vote. With bad experiences in the past I used not to vote in elections as a principle. Despite his insistence I refused to budge in. At the end of the day the same person told me that he had managed to cast my vote through some other person not entitled fo such vote. During Seshan’s time I was appointed Election Observer in Karnataka. While touring the area I came to know that the candidate in Belthangadi was earlier an Excise Minister and he had permitted Liquor shops at short distances in his constituency to obtain favours. I had a tough time to ensure such shops were kept closed during the period. Later during the counting found that Paper Ballots had been written with words like “Seshan Zindabad”etc. which rendered many ballot papers invalid. Had it not happened perhaps the Congress candidate from Puttur would have won as he lost by a narrow margin of 70 votes. Anyway Bollywood comes out with all that happens in elections due to hooliganism and political patronage by ruling party. I must congratulate Election Commission of India for having improved election machinery tremendously and conducted the elections with fairness as far as possible especially with introduction of EVMs. It has reinstated my faith in democracy and now for the last ten years I vote regularly.
With this background, as a first step, I urge upon you, being a self-proclaimed honest, upright politician and a remix of GANDHI-BAGHAT SINGH IDEOLOGY with strong commitment to usher in ANARCHY, to please RESIGN FROM THE POST OF Chief Ministership of DELHI State and ask all your MLAs also to RESIGN from the Assembly in order to show your integrity and commitment to restore democracy since you were elected through these very EVMs which must have been manipulated by some people having allegiance to you. Now that we must demonstrate to the world how sincere our Chief Minister Delhi is, you are requested to please resign immediately along with all MLAs so that fresh elections can be held in Delhi through PAPER BALLOTS in a free and fair manner. I have firm belief that Gandhian spirit in you will wake up as you read my request and knock at your conscience and you will accept my request without any reservation.
Lt Col Deepak Budki, (Retd IPS)