Shortly after it blamed “manipulation’ of EVMs for its poor performance in assembly elections in three states, the BJP backtracked from its statement saying that there could be other reasons for the party’s defeat.
As the elections results started becoming clear at noon, BJP- election in-charge for assembly polls in Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, said that manipulation of EVMs have 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.
Besides, he said that not only his party but other political organizations also had expressed doubts about the credibility of EVMs.
“How can five votes be cast in one minute,” he asked.
In response to the question 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.”
Nonetheless, seemingly due to pressure from party higher-ups, he soon retracted on his statement.
“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 backtracking 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.