No time for another EVM conspiracy - Hindustan Times
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No time for another EVM conspiracy

ByHT Editorial
Dec 06, 2023 10:19 PM IST

In light of the evidence available, EVMs are credible and tamper-proof. Thanks to them, there is a great deal of time, money and labour saved during elections

Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh, who led the Congress campaign in Madhya Pradesh, have pointed fingers at the electronic voting machines (EVMs) for the party’s drubbing in the assembly elections. Their angst is understandable. The Congress last won a simple majority in this state in 1998 and expected to win this time – in 2018, it had emerged as the single largest party and formed a government that collapsed in early 2020. Both Nath and Singh need to accept the verdict and move on. They need to ask themselves why the electorate rejected their claim for office. Was it a case of a badly run campaign? Was it that the incumbent CM was more popular? Was it a case of political one-upmanship failing to rally around the cadres and grassroots leaders? Perhaps, the party can organise a chintan shivir on this. But spare the EVMs, please.

Polling officials collect EVMs and other polling materials on the eve of the Telangana Assembly election, at a distribution centre in Hyderabad, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023 (PTI) PREMIUM
Polling officials collect EVMs and other polling materials on the eve of the Telangana Assembly election, at a distribution centre in Hyderabad, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023 (PTI)

Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh, who led the Congress campaign in Madhya Pradesh, have pointed fingers at the electronic voting machines (EVMs) for the party’s drubbing in the assembly elections. Their angst is understandable. The Congress last won a simple majority in this state in 1998 and expected to win this time – in 2018, it had emerged as the single largest party and formed a government that collapsed in early 2020. Both Nath and Singh need to accept the verdict and move on. They need to ask themselves why the electorate rejected their claim for office. Was it a case of a badly run campaign? Was it that the incumbent CM was more popular? Was it a case of political one-upmanship failing to rally around the cadres and grassroots leaders? Perhaps, the party can organise a chintan shivir on this. But spare the EVMs, please.

Thankfully, the Congress leadership has not lent credence to the claims of the ‘Jai-Viru’ combination of MP. But this sort of allegation can be contagious, though the terrain has been visited multiple times. The Election Commission (EC) has, in the past, addressed concerns about EVMs and demonstrated the reliability of the machines and the sanctity of the electoral process. EVMs were introduced on a pilot basis in 1998 (25 assembly constituencies in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi) and in the 2004 general elections, EVMs were used in all 543 Lok Sabha constituencies. The legal challenge to the use of EVMs began in 2004 (Michael Fernandes v CK Jaffer Sharief, Karnataka high court). The EC introduced the VVPATs in 2013 in response to EVM sceptics. Multiple high courts and the Supreme Court have dismissed allegations that EVMs can be compromised and vouchsafed the integrity of the polling process with them. In light of the evidence available, EVMs are credible and tamper-proof. Thanks to them, there is a great deal of time, money and labour saved when elections are held.

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