Tag: Chanrababu Naidu

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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Lok Sabha polls 2019: As countdown begins for D-day this is how political leaders prepping up

 

EVM_opposition
An EVM and politicians complaining against the device

As the result day (May 23) of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 is nearing, political parties, some of whom had bitterly fought with one another, are coalescing into two major groups. But the behaviour of the two groups looks like an essay in contrast. While the first group is rallying around one figure, the second appears all over with no central point. Similarly, the first exudes confidence and (reportedly) is deliberating on action plans in the immediate aftermath of the results, the second comes out as jittery and frustrated, afraid of facing the results.

The optics presented by these two groups post the Exit Polls tell it all. The members of outgoing Union Ministry sit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an informal meeting at the BJP head quarters in Delhi. And all the key leaders of NDA alliance dine with BJP president Amit Shah.

On the other hand, leaders of 21 Opposition parties approach the Election Commission with complaints on Electronic Voting Machine. They continue to cast aspersion on the device, and appear determined to reject the outcome it throws up, if it goes against them. Apparently, no amount of explanation can satisfy them. After suspecting EVM hacking and tampering, now their grouse seems to be around some “conspiracy theory” about EVM swapping.

Not that they are not aware that such things cannot happen. When the EC had thrown an open challenge to hack or tamper EVM, none came forward. And every party knows that swapping of machine is impossible as they are sealed and opened in the presence of the party agents, which gets video-graphed. However, these parties seem to be using EVM for ulterior motives. May be they are creating doubts about the legitimacy of the poll process in common people. May be they are preparing the ground to disrupt and create chaos during counting. May be they hope to edge out EVM with their complaints and see the return of ballot papers, which are easier to manipulate with rigging and booth capturing.

The irony is sections of media too contributing to muddy the water over EVM as shown by the following tweet.

In fact, a neta from Bihar, Upendra Kushwaha has actually warned of bloodshed on the street. He called upon the workers of Bihar Grand alliance (comprising the Congress, RJD, RSLP and HAM) to take up arms if EVM are found tampered.

Fortunately, barring West Bengal, polling was by and large peaceful through stretched over 38 days unlike in the era of ballot paper. Will peace prevail on the counting day as well?