It is months before Uttar Pradesh would go to assembly polls. But the Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is already preparing for a contingency plan in case his party suffers a humiliating defeat in the state elections, which overwhelmingly appears to be the likely outcome.
Yadav had this week resorted to the hoary refrain of blaming the EVMs in a bid to deflect the responsibility of an embarrassing poll drubbing. Earlier yesterday, Yadav sounded alarm saying that the people of Uttar Pradesh should be on the lookout for EVMs and DMs(District Magistrates) as both were misused by the government to influence result in Bihar assembly elections this year.
The Samajwadi Party chief asserted that assembly elections this time will be for saving democracy and blamed the BJP of employing unconstitutional methods to influence the elections.
“Uttar Pradesh ka chunav, bada chunav hai. Chunav mein EVM aur DM se sawdhan rehna hai. Bihar vidhan sabha chunav mein beimani EVM aur DM ke zariye hui (UP elections will be important elections. In the elections beware of EVMs and DMs. In Bihar assembly polls, EVMs and DMs influenced the results),” he said.
The popular practice among opposition parties to raise the bogey of EVM manipulation and deflect accountability
Ever since the BJP started winning elections after elections following the grand victory registered in 2014 general elections, the opposition parties such as Congress, TMC, Samajwadi Party, AAP, and others have taken to peddling conspiracy theories regarding the EVMs and their alleged tampering. It serves dual purposes: discredits BJP’s victory and downplays their defeat as a result of electoral manipulation.
In November 2020, as BJP-led NDA pulled ahead in vote count, opposition parties made a beeline to allege EVM malfunctioning as the possible reason for their predicament.
In March 2021, a good two months before TMC stormed back into power in West Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee-led party had raised the EVM bogey claiming that no matter which button was pressed, the votes automatically went to the BJP. When they won the assembly elections later in May, there was no protest against the manipulation of EVMs. Instead, they were busy presiding over the worst political witch-hunt and post-poll violence witnessed in the country.
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).