Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday said the Congress will accept the Lok Sabha election results with “humility”, but maintained that exit poll projections have been wrong several times.
Counting of votes of the just-concluded seven-phase polls will be done on Thursday.
He also accused the BJP of not doing issue-based politics and trying to polarise voters during the elections.
“Prediction by exit polls have gone wrong several times. Good results (for the Congress) will come out tomorrow. We believe that the results will be in our favour. Whatever the results, we will accept them with humility,” Gehlot told reporters after reaching Jaipur from New Delhi.
He was on the same plane from the national capital as his predecessor Vasundhara Raje.
“I did not know ‘Madam’ (Raje) was flying in the same plane. She was sitting in first class and I was travelling in economy class. First class passengers are deboarded first and people in economy class later.
“My turn came later, otherwise I would have greeted her. Perhaps, she has returned from abroad that’s why people have come to welcome her,” the senior Congress leader said.
The chief minister alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi made efforts to win the election in the name of nationalism, the army and temples instead of real issues, which Congress president Rahul Gandhi spoke about during electioneering.
“The PM has made efforts of winning the election in the name of nationalism, the army and temples. Let’s see how successful he will be. He went to Kedarnath and Badrinath to give a message to polarise (voters). The Election Commission should look into it. The elections were fought without any issue or agenda,” Gehlot said.
Gehlot said counting should be done amid tight security.
“I believe that even the Supreme Court has said that tampering with EVMs is possible. So, VVPAT machines were introduced,” he said apparently referring to a 2013 order of the top court.
The Supreme Court had in 2013 directed the Election Commission to introduce in a phased manner a paper trail in EVMs for the next general elections in 2014, saying it will ensure free and fair polls.
“The machines were introduced in the US and England as well in the election process, but they returned to ballot paper system. If they can make the change then why can’t it be done in India,” he said.
On April 8, the top court had directed the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs from one to five polling booths per assembly segment in the Lok Sabha polls, saying it would provide greater satisfaction not just to political parties but also to the entire electorate.
The court, on Tuesday, had dismissed a PIL seeking 100 per cent matching of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the counting of votes on May 23 for Lok Sabha polls.