The BJP on Tuesday condemned opposition parties for questioning the credibility of Electronic Voting Machines and asked them to accept their defeat with grace if the people vote Prime Minister Narendra Modi to power again.
Party leader and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad took a swipe at the opposition, saying EVMs were fine when its leaders like Mamata Banerjee, N Chandrababu Naidu and Amarinder Singh win elections and come to power, but the machines turn unreliable when it appears Modi will come back to power.
“EVM is good when Mamata Banerjee became West Bengal chief minister twice and Amarinder Singh became Punjab chief minister. If they win, EVM is good. But when there is expectation that we will win because people of this country want Narendra Modi to be prime minister again, then EVM is unreliable.
“The BJP condemns their (opposition) conduct and will tell humbly to accept their defeat with grace,” he said.
Describing the opposition as “demoralised and defeated”, Prasad said, “By the end of the fourth phase they had realised that they are not going to win the election and people are overwhelmingly supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Therefore they started finding excuses.”
Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore also said the opposition parties are aware that they will “lose the elections, so they are resorting to such excuses”.
BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said opposition parties are desperately seeking an alibi for their impending massive defeat and their sudden mistrust is “unsurprising and unimaginary”.
“When they win, as they did in state polls recently, EVMs are trustworthy. But when they lose, they become questionable. Their selective trust in the EVMs is hypocritical and mischievous. Their blatant effort at rubbishing the predicted pro-BJP mandate is an insult to the Indian democracy. The Opposition parties look very small not in their defeat, but in their condemnable conduct,” he said.
Leaders of as many as 22 opposition parties met the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday and demanded verification of VVPAT slips of randomly-selected polling stations before the counting of the votes polled in the just-concluded Lok Sabha election begins on May 23.
They also demanded that if any discrepancy is found during VVPAT verification, 100 per cent counting of the paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations of that particular Assembly segment should be done and compared with the electronic voting machine (EVM) results.