Civic bodies’ election of Uttar Pradesh had generated national interest because people wanted to know whether Modi magic continued in India’s most populous state. Results are out and it is a celebration time again for BJP, because it has won 14 out of 16 Mayors post of Uttar Pradesh. It is expecting to harvest a good electoral crops in Gujarat, where voting for Assembly elections are scheduled to take place on 9th and 14th December by highlighting its success in Uttar Pradesh Civic Bodies Election.
But leaders like Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav are challenging the genuineness of the electoral results in Municipal Corporations elections and attributing Electoral Voting Machines (EVMs) for the victory of BJP in 14 out of 16 Municipal Corporations. It is apt to mention that Mayawati had even challenged the genuineness of the results of the last Assembly Election of UP as well. She had thundered that BJP had won because of the manipulations of EVMs.
After the UP Assembly Elections a big debate had emerged over the EVMs. Almost all opposition parties, some vociferously and some in subdued voice, were talking against the EVMs. Delhi CM Kejriwal had evened convened a special session of Delhi Assembly to show the vulnerability of the voting machine and one of its MLAs had shown how it could have been tempered. To refute the allegations of manipulations of EVM to influence voting and results, Election Commission of India had given open challenge to prove the manipulations under certain conditions. Under the conditions prescribed by Election Commission no one could prove the temper worthiness of EVMs and the controversy was put to rest.
But after Civic Election of Uttar Pradesh the same controversy is again erupting and the Social Media is overflowing with posts claiming that the victory of BJP in Municipal Corporations was due to manipulation of EVMs. Akhilesh Yadav, SP President and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has given a plane statement that where ever polling was done through EVMs, BJP won and where ever polling was done through ballots, BJP got defeated.
It should be noted that elections were held for 16 Municipal Corporations, 198 Municipal Councils and 438 Municipal Panchayats throughout the state. In Municipal Corporations voting were done through EVMs and BJP scored a thumping majority by bagging 14 Mayor’s posts out of 16. The rest two were bagged by Bahujan Samaj Party of Mayawati.
On the other hand, in the election of Municipal Councils BJP could win only 68 seats out of 198. It means BJP could win around only 35 percent posts of Chairman of Municipal Councils. Since, voting was done through ballots in these Councils, leaders like Mayawati and Akhilesh and also their supporters believe that BJP could win Mayors’ posts only because of the manipulations of EVMs.
In Municipal Panchayat elections, which were held using ballot papers, BJP could win only 100 out of 438 Chairman posts. Here the success of BJP is even less than 25 percent. Now Mayawati is asking how was it possible that BJP could win in Municipal Corporations with thumping majority and could not match that win even by half in Municipal Councils and Municipal Panchayats.
While BJP is celebrating its win in Municipal Corporations, aspersions are being cast once again against EVMs. Now Mayawati is challenging BJP and its government to conduct next Lok Sabha election through ballots. She has also given a veiled threat that she might boycott the next Parliament elections, if they are conducted through using EVMs. It is not clear whether Mayawati is going to launch any agitation against the use of EVMs, but recurring controversy over Electoral Voting Machines is not good for democracy.
The problem has arisen because VVPAT was not used along with EVM in Municipal Corporations elections in Uttar Pradesh. Political parties should have insisted on the use of VVPAT, but they could not do that on time. Let us hope that the use of VVPAT in all elections henceforth will restore the faith of all in digital mode of voting.
– Contributed by Kriti
Picture Credits: indiatoday.intoday.in