The opposition parties, in recent times, have made it a habit of trying to undermining the legitimacy of BJP’s electoral victories by claiming that EVMs have been tampered with to unfairly benefit the saffron party.
Soon after the Exit Polls for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections were released, which hinted at NDA’s return to power, numerous politicians alleged that EVMs were tampered with. Congress President Rahul Gandhi himself voiced those allegations.
The Aam Aadmi Party, too, hasn’t been far behind with these wild allegations. In fact, Arvind Kejriwal cited EVMs as one of the reasons his party may not do to well in these elections.
And on Tuesday, Deputy CM of Delhi, Manish Sisodia claimed that EVMs were being caught nationwide in open vehicles by the public. He further alleged that journalists were deliberately maintaining a stoic silence on the matter so that they could attack the Opposition parties instead after the results were declared.
देशभर में मतगणना केंद्रों के आसपास इवीएम खुली गाड़ियों में पकड़ी जा रही हैं. जनता पकड़ रही है…
लेकिन ख़ुद को पत्रकार कहने वाले बड़े बड़े लोग आँख मूँदकर बैठे है …. उन्हें इंतज़ार है कि इस हेराफेरी से मोदी जीते तो ये फिर इवीएम पर सवाल उठाने वालों पर भोंकना शुरू करें.
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) May 21, 2019
Sisodia’s allegation appears to have been motivated by a tweet by one Vikas Yogi, National Media Coordinator of AAP. In his tweet, Vikas had alleged EVMs were caught in vehicles in Jhaansi and the people in the vehicles had made a run for it.
झांसी में गाड़ियों में भरी EVM मिलीं।
— Vikas Yogi (@vikaskyogi) May 20, 2019
Brajesh Kumar Singh, Group Consulting Editor at Network18, whose news report was cited by Vikas Yogi to make his claims, responded to Sisodia’s allegations slamming him for his tweet and asserted that the media had been tracking this news aptly. He further asserted that the AAP media coordinator’s version of events was greatly at odds with actual facts.
पत्रकार आंख मूंद कर नहीं बैठे हैं, बल्कि पड़ताल कर रहे हैं और फिर अफवाहों का खंडन भी! आप खुद देख लीजिए, आपके सहयोगियों के आरोप और सच्चाई में कितना बड़ा फर्क है! https://t.co/iNxRWyUPf1 pic.twitter.com/45YmOONJX5
— Brajesh Kumar Singh (@brajeshksingh) May 21, 2019
Singh, in his tweet, had shared the screenshot of a Bhaskar report from the 30th of April, after the 4th phase of elections. The report speaks of EVM and VVPAT machines being caught in a private vehicle along with the city magistrate in Jhansi which created a ruckus. Upon receiving news of the matter, the District Magistrate reached the spot. In the presence of representatives from all political parties, the machines were checked and it was found that they were actually unused. Soon after, the ruckus dispersed by itself and things returned to normalcy.
Not just politicians, even certain journalists have resorted to peddling Fake News to further their political agenda. Faye DSouza of Mirror Now stated that the Election Commission ought to confirm that it is going to investigate the allegations that are being made against EVMs.
So many of these videos have surfaced. The Election Commission must respond and confirm that it is going to investigate. The silence is deafening! https://t.co/g4c2ChfnUH
— Faye DSouza (@fayedsouza) May 21, 2019
As it turns out, the Election Commission has already responded to these allegations. It has labelled them ‘baseless’ and ‘frivolous’. The EC has further stated that wherever any issue was raised, it was resolved amicably after discussions with all the stakeholders involved.
— Manak Gupta (@manakgupta) May 21, 2019
It appears there is a concerted attempt underway to discredit the EVMs used in the Lok Sabha Elections. It could have devastating consequences for our democratic institutions as the faith of the citizenry on these institutions is being undermined for petty politics.