EVMs: The last straw for drowning Kejri-Mayawati
It is travesty of Indian politics that if
a person wins an election, he gives credit to his popularity. If he loses,
he puts the blame on opponents.
Most our political parties seem to
have developed allergy to digest electoral defeat. Not many possess
sportsman spirit to accept the reality of defeat. EVMs are handy
The just concluded assembly elections in
Punjab and UP have thrown up two leaders — BSP supremo Ms Mayawati in UP
and AAP supremo and Delhi CM Kejriwal in Punjab — who are not willing to
open their eyes to the glaze of the drubbing.
It looks Kejriwal had the premonition of
his party not being favoured for power by the Punjab electorate. That is
why immediately after polling he started making ground by alleging lack of
security of EVMs. The Election Commission (EC) made spot inspections and
declared that these were safe. The AAP leaders, according to Press reports,
had also put their own volunteers round-the-clock to keep a watch if any
attempt from outside was made to tamper with EVMs.
Kejriwal has earned the distinction of
being a leader who can make any allegations without taking the trouble of
collecting proof. Before counting for Delhi assembly elections in
2015, he had alleged massive rigging to defeat his party. When he won 37 of
40 seats, he forgot his own words. Does Kejriwal owe his party’s unprecedented
majority to the “rigging” he alleged?
Mayawati and Kejriwal are the product of
EVMs which threw them into power — Ms Mayawati in 2007 and Kejriwal in
2015. When the results were favourable, these very EVMs, to them, reflected
the true will of the people. When the outcome was opposite, these looked
tampered and defective to them.
Their action is akin
to that of a spoiled child for whom his mother is a goddess incarnate as
long as she continues to dote on him ignoring and hiding all his faults,
failures and misdemeanours. But the moment she starts scolding and
threatening him for all his shortcomings, she turns a dayan(witch).
In the past, when elections were
conducted using paper ballots, there were allegations of mass rigging,
booth capturing and preventing certain sections of people from exercising
their right to franchise. It was to overcome these problems that the EC
gradually replaced paper ballots with EVMs. In the past and recently too,
doubts have been raised on the efficacy and reliability of these machines.
These were got inspected by experts who certified these as tamper-proof.
Law and investigations proceed on the
strength of proof and not on the basis of suspicions and hearsay using
words like “may” and “could have been”. Both Ms Mayawati and Kejriwal have
not come out with specific allegations regarding EVMs in a particular booth
or constituency. Their allegations are general, of the nature anyone can
make. They should have come out with concrete allegations and proof.
Needless to mention that just within a
week of hurling such wild allegations, Kejriwal on March 18 told his party
workers in Delhi: "We are not Napoleon to win election after election,
cover territories". Is he not contradicting himself?
Our leaders definitely need to take steps
to keep high the morale of party workers but not at the cost of defaming a
machinery and institution. It is certainly not a moral and healthy
politics. It is dangerous to the institution of elections and democracy
which we, otherwise, swear to protect at all costs. ***
The writer is a political analyst.
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