The Congress party has registered a victory in the Karnataka Urban Local Body polls, winning 509 of the total 1,221 wards while the BJP secured 366 wards. The JD(S) came third with victory in 174 wards.
With its victory came the party’s fear-mongering about EVMs. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao said, “I’m surprised looking at the ULB election results and the Lok Sabha results. There are reports coming now that there’s a mismatch between votes polled on the EVMs and the votes that were counted during the Lok Sabha election. The difference is in the range of thousands of votes. The Election Commission is yet to clarify.”
Congress MLC Rizwan Arshad also echoed similar sentiments in his tweet. He was the party’s Lok Sabha candidate from Bengaluru Central constituency.
With INC & JDS winning twice the no. of seats compared to BJP, in the local body. no doubt that majority of ppl are with us.
Considering that local body polling was immediately after LS results. The disparity in results is inexplicable or there were other factors at play in LS? pic.twitter.com/g29qfgnxl3
— Rizwan Arshad (@ArshadRizwan) May 31, 2019
Veteran Congress leader Salman Rashid went a step further and claimed that EVMs weren’t used at all during the local body elections and paper ballots were used, that is why the Congress won. In reality, EVMs were used in these elections as well. While in the Lok Sabha elections, EVMs under the Central Election Commission was used, for the local body elections, EVMs under the State EC were used.
Questions again! Karnataka municipal elections used paper ballots. Congress won handsomely.
— Salman Khurshid (@salman7khurshid) June 1, 2019
Congress Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala admitted so himself in a tweet. He expressed his gratitude towards the people of Karnataka for reposing their faith in the party.
A resounding win for Congress in the Urban Local Body Polls held on May 29th in Karnataka, a month after LS Polls on April 19/23.
In LS polls, EVM’s under Central Elec Comm used.
In ULB polls, EVM’s under State CEO used.
Glad that people changed their mind & chose Congress! pic.twitter.com/0QV1By8ArF
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) May 31, 2019
The fear-mongering over EVMs is well past its sell-by date. After a campaign by the Opposition parties, the Election Commission mandated that a physical count of 20,625 VVPAT slips was to be done this election season as compared to the earlier election where 4,125 VVPAT slips were counted. After the count, it was discovered that there wasn’t a single case of mismatch between the VVPAT slips and the EVM count anywhere in the country.
No Opposition party raised any significant issue over the matter thereafter. The Congress party is only demonstrating that it is a bad loser and would rather blame anything and everything under the Sun apart from the inefficacy of its own party leadership.
A report by the propaganda website, NewsClick, which has now been deleted, was used by various people to attempt to undermine the NDA’s victory. We had published a comprehensive analysis elaborating on how the data was fudged by the outlet.
The Congress’ victory in the Urban Local Body polls and spectacular defeat in the Lok Sabha elections is easily explained by the fact that the elections are fought on completely different issues. Voter enthusiasm is considerably higher during national level polls and so is the consequent voter turnout. The issues before the voters are completely different as well. The local body polls are fought mostly on extremely localized issues while the case is completely the opposite for Lok Sabha elections.
The Lok Sabha elections were a referendum on Narendra Modi, therefore, there was a much greater incentive for his supporters to come out and vote. Moreover, it could very well be attributed to the fact that voters simply have different preferences when it comes to local polls and national ones.
For instance, merely months after Narendra Modi scored a clean sweep of Delhi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the AAP secured 67 of the 70 seats in the Assembly elections. Voter preference does vary with respect to even Assembly and National level polls, therefore it should not surprise anyone that the results of local body polls vary widely with that of the Lok Sabha elections.
Congress politicians, of course, know this very well. However, they still continue to fear-monger over EVMs in its failed bid to deflect the utter incompetence of the leadership of its own party.