Tag: NDA Alliance

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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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?