Ever since the Assembly Elections in 5 states concluded, an effort has been made by political parties to blame the EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) for their poor performance in the polls.
On 11th March, as the election results were being declared, Mayawati was the first politician who had come out and blamed the EVMs for BJP’s victory. Slowly, other political parties too started raking up the EVM issue and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal took it to the next level after spreading an outright lie about the machines that were equipped with the VVPAT system.
The resultant controversy forced the Election Commission to take stock of the issue and explain in detail why EVMs can’t be hacked.
However, the parties pushing this paranoia and propaganda are not giving up. Congress too is a part of it as it was their leaders, and a section of media, who had created the controversy about EVMs in Bhind, Madhya Pradesh. Not just local leaders, even senior leaders have started pushing this propaganda. Congress even demanded an immediate ban on the EVMs in Rajya Sabha. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad had stated:
EVM should be stopped right now. In the upcoming civic polls of Delhi, assembly polls in Gujarat and other states EVMs should not be used.
Later, the Congress joined a group of 16 opposition parties that petitioned the Election Commission to express no confidence in the EVM and called for ballot papers to be brought back. Ghulam Nabi Azad told the reporters that they had lost confidence in the EVMs after the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand elections. He though didn’t mention anything about the Punjab elections.
This embarrassing stand of the Congress party, which flaunts about introducing computers and technology in India, has prompted Senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily to come out and slam the party.
Moily in his statement backed the EVMs and stated that there was no question of going back to the manual methods (ballot papers). He slammed the party for joining the chorus against the EVMs and called it a defeatist mindset.
Moily also expressed his dismay against the way Congress had come under the influence of regional outfits who were only looking for excuses for their defeats.
He further stated that the EVMs were introduced when he was the union Law Minister and claimed that they had tested the EVMs during that period. He also claimed that many leaders weren’t consulted about the Congress’ decision to petition the EC.
Not just Moily, senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit too has indirectly criticized the stand of the Congress. In an interview published on 9th April, Sheila Dikshit was asked about her view about Kejriwal’s allegations against the EVM. She said that EVM tampering was a perception which was created by losers.
She stated that the shift to the EVMs was made because it was a modern system, and that accusing the Election Commission straightaway only because the party had lost was not right.
Joining this league of senior leaders not happy with EVM hacking theory is Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who too trashed such conspiracy theories. “If EVMs were tampered with, Akalis, not me, would be sitting here,” he was reported as saying.
But looks like Congress is in no mood to sound logical. Moily was summoned by the party top brass for his comments, while party spokesperson Manish Tewari attacked Captain with heavy words, accusing him of making a u-turn:
In 2010 or even earlier in 2001 when he(Amarinder Singh)was PCC Pres,he hd demonstrated how EVM can be gerrymandered with:Manish Tewari,Cong pic.twitter.com/UgZhAC7BDp
— ANI (@ANI_news) April 13, 2017