Cong, BJP spar over EVMs intensifies

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."

PTI



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

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