On Wednesday the United States said that it was confident about the fairness and integrity of the Indian elections. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus while speaking to some reporters said, “I would say from the US perspective, we are very confident in the fairness and the integrity of the Indian elections, and we will obviously work with whoever is the victor and whatever the outcome is there”.
Due to the strong independent credentials of the Election Commission of India, the US doesn’t send in its election observers, unlike what happens in other countries. Ortagus said, “we have a very strong relationship and a lot of cooperation with the Indian government on a full range of issues, and the Secretary (of State, Mike Pompeo) has said numerous times that we have a true strategic partner in India”.
She was fascinated by the fact that such a massive exercise could be conducted peacefully. She said, “Someone pointed this out to me today that India’s election is the largest exercise in democracy in human history. I think with everything going on in the world, that’s a thing that we can pause and think about and certainly commend the Indian people”.
Despite the well-known credibility of the Election Commission, opposition parties and journalists have sought to repeatedly malign the institution ever since the Exit Polls were released. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking 100% matching of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) with the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the counting of votes on 23rd May, terming it as nonsense.
Yesterday, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RSLP) leader Upendra Kushwaha called for violence over allegations of EVM tampering to protect votes. Shehla Rashid went ahead made a bizarre suggestion of ‘invoking’ the UN and other international bodies.
The allegations are raised despite the clarifications from the Election Commission. Various courts also on several occasions declared the EVMs cannot be hacked and that they are tamper proof, and the process followed by ECI is robust.