The first phase of the high octane West Bengal Assembly polls is underway in 30 constituencies on Saturday. Over 73 lakh voters in the eastern states of West Bengal will be exercising their franchise today. The voting for the first phase of polls kickstarted at 7:00 AM today. As expected, merely a few hours after the voters began to exercise their ballot, the jittery Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) has started peddling the ‘EVM hacked’ bogey.
The ruling TMC party, which is, this time, fighting for its survival in the state, took to Twitter to raise the false bogey of ‘EVM malfunctioning’. It said the voters in the Kanthi Dakshin assembly seat have been making a shocking claim that “they voted for TMC but VVPAT showed them the BJP symbol”. It asked the Election commission to immediately look into the matter. “THIS IS SERIOUS! THIS IS UNPARDONABLE!” exclaimed ruling TMC.
Shocking claim by voters which must be immediately looked into by @ECISVEEP and @CEOWestBengal.— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) March 27, 2021
Many voters in Kanthi Dakshin assembly seat allege that they voted for TMC but VVPAT showed them the BJP symbol. THIS IS SERIOUS! THIS IS UNPARDONABLE! pic.twitter.com/E0Bjjbc89y
Reacting to Trinamool Congress party’s allegations, BJP West Bengal Pres Dilip Ghosh said: “TMC knows that it is losing & that’s why it is saying all this. For such complaints, TMC should go to the Election Commission. TMC & Mamata Banerjee are under pressure and that is why they are saying such things”.
TMC knows that it is losing & that’s why it is saying all this. For such complaints, TMC should go to the Election Commission. TMC & Mamata Banerjee are under pressure and that is why they are saying such things: BJP West Bengal Pres Dilip Ghosh on TMC alleging rigging of polls pic.twitter.com/81XvGsEl76— ANI (@ANI) March 27, 2021
Rightly so, this conspiracy theory peddled by most opposition parties, including Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, in an apparent bid to hide their failure, has become extremely cliched. The information disseminated by the Election Commission of India has convinced most sane people that hacking EVMs is not possible, since they are stand-alone machines with no networking with the external world. Nevertheless, every single time when opposition senses that they are about to lose the battle, they start peddling this outrageous theory. After every election, VVPAT slips are tallied with the EVM results and they match 100% every time, ruling any such discrepancy that TMC is alleging.
Last year, Congress veteran leader Digivijay Singh had raised a similar din minutes before the counting of votes began for the Delhi Assembly elections. Similarly in 2019, when the Congress party realised that their candidate Randeep Singh Surjewala is set to lose the important Jind by-polls in Haryana, the workers of the Congress party took to the streets to protest against the election results while raising doubts regarding EVM tampering. Likewise, in 2018, when BJP was all set to form a government in Karnataka, a senior Congress leader had raked up the same issue of malpractices in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
Whether it is BSP supremo Mayawati or the Aama Aadmi Party or the Congress party, like clockwork, the ‘EVMs are tampered’ bogey has been raised time and again by them.
Meanwhile, the first phase of voting is underway in the politically volatile state of West Bengal. Elections are being held in 30 seats amid tight security. The 30 seats include all constituencies in Purulia and Jhargram and segments of Bankura, Purba Medinipur and Paschim Medinipur. According to ECI, till 11 am, 24.61 per cent voter turnout was recorded.
Elections to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.