21 Oct : BJP sought to blame “manipulation” of EVMs for its poor performance in assembly elections in three states but later backtracked saying there could be other reasons for the party’s defeat.
BJP election in-charge for assembly polls in Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said manipulation of Electronic Voting Machines had led to Congress victory in these elections.
“The EVMs have become Electronic Victory Machines for the Congress. In Maharashtra, we received reports that in 73 constituencies, 600 votes had been cast in one hour. Similarly, in Haryana, 300 votes were cast in one hour in 47 seats,” Naqvi said.
The senior BJP leader maintained that not only his party but other political parties had raised doubts about the credibility of EVMs. “How can five votes be cast in one minute,” he asked.
When asked if EVMs were manipulated in the past in states like Chhattisgarh and Gujarat where the BJP had won, Naqvi said, “Don’t look at the results but at the credibility of EVMs.”
However, soon thereafter he retracted on his statement, ostensibly after being pressurised by the party higher-ups.
“I would request you not to look at these assembly elections from the point of view of EVMs alone. Once all the results are announced, we will analyse the reasons for the party’s performance,” Naqvi said.
When asked if he was back-tracking on the issue under pressure, Naqvi said, “We will take up the issue of EVMs with the Election Commission. The technical question is still there.”
The BJP vice-president said the ordinary workers of the party had laboured hard during the polls.
“We fought these elections on the issue of price rise, corruption, lack of law and order, farmers’ suicide and bijli, sadak, paani (power, roads and water),” he said.