New Delhi: Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, activist and politician Kavita Krishnan and many others have re-ignited the Electronic Voter Machine (EVM) tampering debate on Twitter ahead of the Delhi assembly elections.
It all began after Home Minister Amit Shah, at an election rally in East Delhi’s Kondli Wednesday, said, “I know your decision, the results on 11 February will shock everyone.”
Bhushan, a public interest lawyer who was part of the Aam Aadmi Party before being ousted in 2015, expressed his doubts on Twitter and wondered whether Shah was “going to pull a rabbit out of the hat by EVM tampering” in the upcoming polls in Delhi.
Why does Shah say that Delhi election results will shock everyone? It means he knows that everyone expects AAP to win and BJP to lose. Is he planning to pull a rabbit out of the hat by EVM tampering? Or is there some more sinister plan afoot?https://t.co/jf0KE4GAa5
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) February 6, 2020
Krishnan, a politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), also expressed on Twitter her concerns about possible “EVM manipulation”.
So @AmitShah says #DelhiElections2020 results will "shock" ppl. Why? If BJP is confident everyone is supporting them, voting for them, then the results should shock no one, no? They will only shock ppl, if the latter have NOT voted BJP. So is Shah hinting at EVM manipulation?
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) February 6, 2020
Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P. Chidambaram called Shah’s remark “shocking”.
What is the meaning of the Home Minister’s statement that the result of the Delhi elections will shock the nation.
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) February 6, 2020
While Shahid Siddiqui, former Samajwadi Party leader, asserted that the “sangh” could go to any “extent to grab Delhi”.
It seems a big mischief in offing, Delhi be prepared for a “EVM-Surprise”.
Sangh ready to go to any extent to grab Delhi.
ShahJi ki naak ka sawal ban gaya hai.
— shahid siddiqui (@shahid_siddiqui) February 6, 2020
BJP defends Shah’s remarks
BJP leaders defended Shah’s remarks with National Spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi calling the accusers “losers”. BJP Mahila Morcha’s Priti Gandhi also ridiculed the matter.
Losers have already started building their case. When BJP loses an election after election from Rajasthan, MP…& AAP won elections by getting 67 seats in Delhi EVM’s were functioning right , knowing well when Shah with the team are walking in the streets of Delhi EVM’s go kaput https://t.co/2V9PHLxE7B
— Meenakashi Lekhi (@M_Lekhi) February 6, 2020
— Priti Gandhi (@MrsGandhi) February 6, 2020
EVM tampering has been a contentious issue for the party in the past few elections, especially the 2014 and 2019 general elections, when the Modi government won a thumping majority.
Several opposition parties, including the Congress, have accused the BJP of tampering with election results in both these instances. However, the Election Commission refuted these allegations.
Ironically, it was the BJP that had first flagged concerns regarding the EVM. In 2009, veteran party leader L.K. Advani had demanded the “reintroduction of ballot papers” during the Maharashtra assembly elections. In the last few years, opposition parties have raised the issue of EVM tampering every time the BJP has won an election.