Month: May 2019

EVM count and VVPAT slips tally 100%, Opposition goes silent

EVM

Even after the severe electoral drubbing in the hands of the BJP and its alliance partners (which won 352/542), none of the 21 Opposition parties, which had made a huge hue and cry over the reliability of Electronics Voting Machines, has blamed its defeat on the voting machine. For, none of them came across any mismatch between the votes registered in the EVMs and the paper trails in the corresponding VVPAT machines.

The Election Commission data also shows that VVPAT slips and the EVM count match was 100% as not single case of mismatch was reported from any corner of the country.

In the just completed elections to elect lawmakers for the 17th Lok Sabha, as many as 17.3 lakh VVPATs were used. Voters could see the paper trail of their vote immediately after voting. The Opposition wanted 50% of them matched with EVMs, but the Supreme Court had just raised the count to 5 machines against 1 (as done in the previous election) in each assembly segment. Hence, 20,625 VVPAT slips was to be matched as against 4,125 VVPAT slips in the 2014 elections.

But a day before counting, Opposition parties demanded with the EC that the matching should be taken up first and if any mismatch occurred, there should be 100%  physical count VVPAT slips. The demand, though, was rejected.

Now with 100% match between VVPAT slips and EVM counts in 5 booths from each assembly segment, political parties need to rest their case against the voting machine.

Incidentally, Telugu Desam Party, headed by Chandra Babu Naidu, who aggressively led the anti-EVM campaign, has been routed in both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in his home state Andra Pradesh. It emerged winner in only 3 LS seats (out of 25) and 23 Assembly seats (out of 175).

At the same time, Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee, another strident voice against EVM could retain only 22 LS seats (out of 42) against her hope of improving the tally of 34 seats, won in 2014.

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LS polls 2019: Modi returns with bigger mandate; 10 reasons behind stunning victory

Modi_Shah
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah (Image: Twitter)

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the ruling National Democratic alliance (NDA) has come back to power with a greater verdict compared to 2014. The NDA has won over 350 out of 542 Parliamentary seats that went for polls for the 17th Lok Sabha. His party, the BJP, has won over 300 seats, 30 above the magic number needed to form government.

In contrast, main Opposition party, the Congress, could increase its tallies of 2014 polls only by handful of seats (from 44 to 52).  The party president Rahul Gandhi lost his seat Amethi, a family bastion, in Uttar Pradesh though won the second seat, Wayanad, from Kerala.

The results affirmed PM Modi’s claim a day after the final phase of polling that his party as well as all alliance  partners in the NDA would return with more number seats than in 2014 elections.

The marathon polling exercise was carried out between April 11 and May 19 in 7 phases, while the counting of votes were counted on May 23.

Political pundits list the following reasons for the stunning victory for the BJP-led NDA:

  • Decisive leadership and clean image of Narendra Modi
  • Welfare schemes and Direct Transfer of cash into beneficiaries’ accounts
  • Surgical strike and Balakot airstrike in response to terror attacks
  • Improved relations with other countries which helped isolate Pakistan, vis-à-vis terrorism, on the world stage
  • Amicable poll pacts with alliance partners stitched by BJP president Amit Shah
  • Effective poll strategy by Amith Shah with a focus on seats where the BJP was in the second place in 2014 elections in states like Odisha and West Bengal.
  • Abusive campaign against PM Modi by Opposition leaders, particularly Rahul Gandhi (with slogans like Chowkidar chor hai)
  • Personal ambitions of regional satraps, which came in the way of stitching a dominant alliance
  • Voters’ fear of a ragtag bunch coming to power, leading to political instability
  • Modi’s ability to convey the message and strike a chord with people