Tag: Election Commission of India

Election results 2019: Guns and gaalis ahead of counting day

Gun-weilding
Ramchander Yadav, a candidate from Buxar LS seat, brandishing gun in a press meet

Are Opposition parties gearing up for violent protests if Lok Sabha result goes in favour of the NDA alliance? The Ministry of Home Affairs on May 22 alerted the states and Union territories on the possibility of eruption of violence in different parts of the country. The Ministry has asked them to bolster security of strong rooms (where EVMS are stored) and counting venues.

The alert comes in the wake warnings of bloodshed and taking up of arms from Opposition quarters, “if EVMs are found tampered with”. In Bihar, RSLP chief Upendra Kushwah, whose party is in alliance with the Congress and RJD is reported as saying, “There is tremendous public anger and blood may spill on the streets, for which we shall not be held responsible.”

At the same time, former RJD leader and Independent candidate from Buxar Lok Sabah seat, Ramchander Yadav brandished a gun before media, threatening bloodshed if results go against them.

Such elements are apparently encouraged by veteran leaders from major political parties. Look at Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s response to Election Commission’s decision to stick with the laid out procedures on EVM counting.

His statement accuses the Election Commission of eradicating the credibility of EVM, and making the device as BJP’s victory machinery. His party colleague Udit Raj, a recent import from the BJP, has asked if the Supreme Court is part of poll rigging in favour of the ruling party, after the apex court rejected yet another plea over EVM

To make the matter worse, a section of media is engaged in spirited campaigns against the Election Commission. Is there a sinister plan to instigate people to protest against the results as Exit Polls predicted a BJP-led NDA victory?

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

 

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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?