Cong, BJP spar over EVMs intensifies
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Last Updated: Monday, October 25, 2010, 21:00
New Delhi: The sparring between Congress and BJP over authenticity of EVMs used in Gujarat local bodies elections intensified today, with the latter accusing the ruling party of showing a "spoilsport mindset" and making a fresh demand for a paper trail to be made compulsory with it.

"There is a great debate on EVMs in Gujarat with the Congress saying they are being manipulated after facing clean wipeout in the elections. This is a result of Congress failure to reach out to the people. They are showing a spoilsport mindset," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

She also refuted Election Commission of India's contention yesterday that the EVMs used in the just-concluded local bodies elections in Gujarat were not provided by it and the State Election Commission - which conducts these polls - had procured them.

"More than 35,000 EVMs that were used in these elections were manufactured by BEL and supplied by the Election Commission of India," she said.

Taking on the Congress, Sitharaman maintained that the same EVMs were also used in Gandhinagar and Tapi constituencies which were won by the Congress.

"You (Congress) also won on it (EVMs), so why are you casting aspersions... These same EVMs were also used in the 2009 (general elections)," she said, adding that the Congress should look at the results with a "positive mindset".

She asked the Congress to join the BJP in demanding from the Election Commission that along with EVMs a paper trail should be made compulsory so that the vote cast can be confirmed.

"BJP has a clean, clear position that there should be a paper trail. Congress should join this campaign in suggesting to the EC that a paper trail should be used," she said.

BJP has in the past sent several delegations of its leaders to the EC to demand that a paper trail be made a must along with EVMs.

Interestingly, BJP has been saying that EVMs are not tamper-proof since the NDA lost the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. This is the first time that Congress has made such an allegation.

Yesterday, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari had said, "This is a matter of investigation whether this (result) is a blessing of people or the wonder of EVMs."


First Published: Monday, October 25, 2010, 21:00

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