Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Tuesday questioned the reliability of the electronic voting machines used in the Assembly Elections last month as the following results were mostly in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Singh shared a screenshot of a newspaper article on X where in 2009 BJP had blamed the EVMs for their loss during an election, Singh captioned the post saying, "Any Machine with a Chip can be hacked. I have opposed voting by EVM since 2003. Can we allow our Indian Democracy to be controlled by Professional Hackers! This is the Fundamental Question which all Political Parties have to address to. Hon ECI and Hon Supreme Court would you please defend our Indian Democracy?"
Digvijay Singh echoed the response of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut who on Monday challenged BJP to hold elections with ballot papers to see the actual outcome. According to Deccan Herald, he said, “The poll results are unexpected and surprising but we respect the democratic process. When the mandate goes against your party, one has to accept it. However, the results of Madhya Pradesh are not only surprising but also shocking for us. The poll results in three of four states should be considered as the EVM mandate and it has to be accepted in that way only."
Demanding the Election Commission of India to look into this matter, the Shiv Sena leader claimed, that the people of India "have doubts about the authenticity of EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) and the way they function".
Politicians from across the parties reacted to the claims of faulty machines and its impact on the results of the elections where the Bharatiya Janata Party won a majority in Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh by defeating the incumbent Congress government while also winning in Madhya Pradesh.
Opposition Leaders react
Samajwadi Party leader Dr ST Hasan spoke to PTI on the matter and said, "We all know about EVMs being misused. When your account could get hacked, when the Pentagon could get hack, then how can EVMs not be hacked?"
National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said, "Questions have been raised over EVMs in the past too. When the EVM was introduced, we had raised this question with the Election Commission and they had admitted that there could be some issues. There is a need to make these machines perfect, so that people's trust on them remains intact."
Congress leader Karti P Chidambaram reacting to the issue, said, "My personal opinion about the EVMs remains unchanged. I have full confidence in the EVMs. I know many of party colleagues have different opinions but I personally have always been very confident about the EVMs."
Pro-government leaders react
Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal spoke to the media regarding the controversy and said, "Opposition should shun negativity. What about wins in Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh? If they have some problem, they should complain about it to the Election Commission."
BJP leader Poonam Mahajan reportedly said, "This is what we call 'sore or bad losers'. They should take lessons from defeat rather than crying over it. This means they are not raising questions EVMs but people who are supporting the BJP, PM Modi."
Amravati Lok sabha MP Navnit Ravi Rana reacting to the controversy, said, "I feel that opposition leaders don't trust people of country. This (assembly election results) is a result of the trust that people have in PM Modi. If EVMs could be hacked, then there would have been BJP governments in Himachal and Telangana too. The opposition should stop cracking jokes."
Meanwhile, BJP MP Sushil Modi told the media, "They (opposition) will raise questions over everything, including EVMs, following their loss. Congress, JD(U) and Samajwadi Party would have anyway lost the Madhya Pradesh elections even if they had contested together".
"Those who have lost keep making such allegations," says Union MoS Ajay Kumar Mishra on the matter.
Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan reportedly said, "What is new in this? If you are raising questions over EVM in three states, then you should question it in the fourth state as well. You should say that Telangana results are also wrong. This is now a done to death formula. Why don't they raise the issue before elections, why raise it after the results everytime. Selective criticism won't work."
BJP leader Dilip Ghosh said, "Once they lose, they raise questions over EVMs and Ballots. They will also blame the people. However, their acceptance is ending and they cannot stand against PM Modi."
Union Minister SP singh Baghel told PTI, "The same EVM helped AAP form governments thrice in Delhi and once in Punjab. The same EVM helped Samajwadi Party and BSP form governments in UP in 2012 and 2007, respectively. It also helped Congress form government in Telangana."