oppn parties Who Is Defeating Chandrababu Naidu - Jagan Reddy Or EVMs?

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  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Who Is Defeating Chandrababu Naidu - Jagan Reddy Or EVMs?

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The opposition had filed a case in the Supreme Court for having 50% Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) for the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) but considering the huge infrastructure and the manpower required, the court had dismissed the petitions and asked the Election Commission (EC) to have VVPAT for at least 5 booths in each segment instead of the one it was planning.

That was a good decision considering the fact that it was already election time and any undue pressure on the EC would have thrown the election schedule haywire. The opposition alleges that the EVMs are being hacked by the ruling party. This is one charge that is hard to believe. If that was the case, no ruling party would have ever lost an election.

For the sake of convenience, let us assume that till the 2014 general elections, all political parties were spotless and did not indulge in any wrongdoing as far as tampering with EVMs is concerned. It was only after the ‘dictatorial’ Modi-Shah duo assumed charge of India that they started playing around with the EVMs. They employed technical experts and hackers to ‘steal’ all opposition votes and transfer them to the BJP or its allies. All buttons in the EVMs, other than those of the BJP and its allies, were so programmed as to transfer a fixed percentage of the votes to the NDA. Hence, there was no chance of the NDA candidates to lose. Modi-Shah had devised this method to commit a “fraud on democracy” and perpetuate their rule. No one in the Election Commission or the huge contingent that conducts the elections was patriotic enough to be a whistleblower and report this.

But if this was true, how is it that the BJP keeps losing elections? How did it lose in Delhi, Punjab, Goa, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and the prestigious bye-elections in UP? Has the opposition got any answer for this? It is easy to doctor an EVM and show that whichever button is pressed, all votes go to a particular party. But if the ruling party was doing this, it would have never lost an election.

Chandrababu Naidu, who is spearheading the opposition charge now, is doing so out of frustration. He has been out-maneuvered and out-campaigned by Jagan Reddy and there is no chance of his retaining power. Instead of introspecting and finding out the mistakes he committed that took him away from the people, he has tried to find an easy excuse for his impending defeat. In every such case, the EVMs and the Election Commission become the best whipping boys. Does Naidu seriously think that the EVMs in Andhra Pradesh are doctored to bring a victory to Jagan Reddy? Why will the BJP do this?

Even if the EVMs are as bad as the opposition says they are, junking technology and going back to paper ballots is no solution. India is the pioneer in designing software. Most global technical giants source their requirement from us. The opposition should suggest ways to improve the EVMs and make them foolproof if they find any problems. India has the technical expertise to work on their suggestions. But going back to paper ballots will take India back in time. The opposition should desist from making such demands.