Amid Storm Over Voting Machines On Eve Of Counting, Amit Shah's 6 Queries

Amit Shah pointed out that the opposition parties had passed up on the Election Commission's challenge for a "hackathon". Even so, VVPATs were introduced for complete transparency

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Election Results 2019: Amit Shah invoked the top court, which was called upon to adjudicate in the issue.


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Amit Shah hit out at the opposition for EVM tampering allegations
  2. "Noise got shriller after the exit poll results," he said
  3. "How fair is it to question VVPATs time and again?" he asked

BJP chief Amit Shah ripped into the opposition today over its allegations of Electronic Voting Machine tampering, alleging that the "noise got shriller after the exit poll results". The Election Commission has turned down the opposition demand for tallying the slips from the VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail) with the Electronic Voting Machines before votes are counted tomorrow.

The BJP has poured scorn on the opposition's insistence on this, as well as its concerns about the movement of unguarded voting machines in several states. Most BJP leaders have censured the opposition, pointing out that they don't complain about doctored EVMs when they win an election.

The "six questions" by Amit Shah, tweeted in Hindi, were on the same lines.

At the outset, he tackled Arvind Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi Party "got a historic 67 of 70 in Delhi". "If EVMs are suspect, then why did these parties assume office?" Mr Shah's tweet read.

Arvind Kejriwal has been one of the most vocal speakers on the EVM issue and along with Mayawati, demanded a return to ballot paper when the EVM controversy started in 2017, after the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and four other states. The parties had contended that the machines were tampered to favour the BJP, which had won a landslide victory in the state as well as Uttarakhand.

Amit Shah also pointed out that the opposition parties had not taken up the Election Commission's challenge for a "hackathon". Even so, VVPATs were introduced for complete transparency, he said, and asked, "How fair is it to question the transparency of this process again and again".

The opposition demand to change the counting process two days before counting is "unconstitutional" as it did not have the consent and acceptance of all political parties, he said.

He also pointed out that the opposition raised this issue after the exit polls predicted a BJP victory. Echoing party colleague and Union minister Arun Jaitley, he tweeted, "I want to tell the opposition that exit poll findings are based on interviews of individuals and not EVM machines. How can opposition question the EVMs on the basis of exit polls?"

In one tweet, he also invoked the Supreme Court, which was called upon to adjudicate in the EVM issue. "The Supreme Court has taken cognizance of 3 different PILs before forming its opinion on EVMs. It says 5 VVPATs will be counted in every assembly constituency. So is the opposition questioning the wisdom of the Supreme Court as well?" the tweet read.

Finally, there was a warning for leaders like Upendra Kushwaha, who warned of reprisals if the BJP and its allies try to "loot votes".

"Some political parties have threatened violence if results are not to their expectations. These statements are highly objectionable. I want to tell the opposition that there should be no space for violence. I want to ask the opposition whom are they challenging by making these undemocratic statements?" Amit Shah's tweet read.

After videos of the unaccompanied EVMs were circulated, Upendra Kushwaha, who quit the NDA in December, had said, "Our vote comes right up there with our prestige, our livelihoods... Just as we are allowed the right to self-defence, even to the extent of taking up arms to safeguard our lives, we are allowed to do the same for our votes".

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