New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Greater Kailash Saurabh Bharadwaj who staged a “live demonstration” of how one can tamper an Electronic Voting Machine in May 2017 by using a “secret code”, was leading by almost 16,809 votes at 2:15 pm, according to the Election Commission website.
After initial trends started coming in, Bharadwaj tweeted the BJP not just insulted Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, but also the hard work of schoolchildren.
भाजपा ने मुख्यमंत्री का अपमान किया,फिर स्कूलों के बच्चो की मेहनत का अपमान किया
हद तब हो गई, जब बजरंग बली हनुमान तक का मजाक बना दिया। रावण ने भी उनका मजाक बनाया था,उनकी पूछ का मजाक उड़ाया था। बंदर केहके पूछ में आग लगाई थीं।
आज मंगलवार को हनुमान जी के भाजपा की लंका में आग लगा दी
— Saurabh Bharadwaj (@Saurabh_MLAgk) February 11, 2020
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Bharadwaj, who has a degree in computer science from Bharati Vidyapeeth’s College of Engineering and has worked as a software engineer at Johnson Controls India, joined the AAP in 2013.
An expert in microchips and coding, Bharadwaj was tasked with performing a demonstration on how the EVMs can be rigged and its motherboard can be changed in just 90 seconds. A mock poll was also conducted on an EVM by Bharadwaj, which shows how results can be changed.
“I was a computer science engineer for 10 years before becoming an MLA. The foundation of India’s democracy is based on machines that can be easily hacked by small engineers such as me,” he had said.
This was done at a time when the party’s sacked minister Kapil Mishra had accused Kejriwal and Satyendra Jain of corruption.
The Election Commission had then responded to the exercise stating that tampering was not possible and the demonstration was done on an EVM “look alike” and not an actual machine used in the polls.
According to a report in The Wire, Election Commission said, “It should be understood that it is possible for anyone to make any electronic gadget which ‘looks-like’ the ECI EVM and demonstrate any magic or tampering.”
The commission further stated that “it is common sense that gadgets other than ECI EVMs can be programmed to perform in a pre-determined way, but it simply cannot be implied that ECI EVMs will behave in the same manner because the ECI EVMs are technically secured and function under an elaborate administrative and security protocol.”
“Such so called demonstration on extraneous and duplicate gadgets which are not owned by the ECI cannot be exploited to influence our intelligent citizens and electorate to assail or vilify the EVMs used by the commission in its electoral process,” the commission was quoted as saying.
Why he decided to study law
According to a report in The Hindu, it was the rape of a 5-year-old girl that shook Bharadwaj and he decided to study law and fight for justice for the people.
“During this period, he also figured that to provide justice in these matters, it was imperative to have legal knowledge,” the report said.
Quoting AAP’s website, the report said: “Bharadwaj was working in a private firm when in 2005 a horrendous incidence of rape happened with a poor girl… He studied law and regularly helps the poor in giving them all legal help possible.”
“He constantly raises his voice for the blind, poor students, flood affected and the old,” it said.
This is Bharadwaj’s consecutive third victory after 2013 and 2015 elections.
In the 2013 assembly polls, he had defeated Ajay Kumar Malhotra, son of senior BJP leader V.K. Malhotra, by over 13,000 votes.
In the 2015 polls, Bharadwaj won by a margin of over 14,000 votes against BJP candidate Rakesh Kumar Gullaiya.
After winning in 2013, he was made the minister of food and supply, transport, environment and general administration Department. But that lasted only for 49 days after Kejriwal resigned in February 2014.
Currently, he is not in Kejriwal’s cabinet but is the party’s spokesperson.
Bharadwaj is among the young professionals who joined the AAP in 2013 when the party made its debut in Delhi and is considered to be one with a “clean image”.
According to his bio on the party’s website, he does not have any cases registered against him.
According to the Election Commission, Greater Kailash constituency, which comes under the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat, has over 1.79 lakh voters that include 95,000 men and about 83,000 women.