Voters Can’t, but Voting Machines Can Help Congress Win Gujarat Election

Rahul Gandhi addressing Ahmedabad's teaching community.
Rahul Gandhi addressing Ahmedabad’s teaching community.

Instead of wandering in every street of Gujarat to meet voters, Rahul Gandhi must sit in a corner and think only about EVMs and how he can leverage these machines to win the Gujarat election.

By Rakesh Raman

There is no denying the fact that Congress – particularly Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi – is working very hard to woo the Gujarat voters for the upcoming Gujarat election.

However, the probability of Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi‘s BJP winning the election is very high. There are two major factors behind this analysis. These factors are: 1. Criminality and 2. Fraud.

As these two factors play a major role in the success of any political party in India, BJP can easily defeat Congress in Gujarat as it has done in the Lok Sabha election of 2014 and recent State elections. Modi’s own record in Gujarat cannot be ignored.

Moreover, a recent survey revealed that over 70 per cent people in Gujarat are ready to ignore the criminal record of their candidates because they feel such candidates have done “good work.” Obviously, this observation is in favour of Modi and his BJP.

The “2017 ADR Midterm Survey Report for Gujarat” has been released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The ADR survey has studied the voting behavior of the people in Gujarat. The survey tried to identify the important factors that people take into account before voting for a particular candidate.

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The other important factor in the Gujarat election will be fraud – particularly the fraud related to Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

As the vulnerability of EVMs is clearly visible, it is believed that only those politicians and political parties will win future elections in India who know the art of stealing voter databases and hacking EVMs.

Modi’s BJP has repeatedly demonstrated its prowess in dealing with the EVMs. Voters can press any election symbol such as the Hand, Elephant, or the Coconut on EVM, the vote goes to Lotus which is BJP’s election symbol.

If Congress and Rahul Gandhi do not understand this EVM thing, all their campaign efforts in Gujarat will go futile. They must also learn from the past experiences.

Major opposition parties have repeatedly complained about the vulnerability of EVMs. It is also being observed that when EVMs malfunction, they vote only in favor of Modi’s BJP which runs with Lotus election symbol.

Earlier, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati had complained about the EVM-based voting fraud in the Uttar Pradesh (U.P) election. But India’s Election Commission had rejected her complaint.

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Besides Mayawati, other politicians have also been demanding voting on traditional ballot papers. The president of Delhi State Congress, Ajay Maken, had said that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) election should be held on traditional ballot papers instead of EVMs.

Maken had asked Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to support the demand to hold MCD election on ballot papers because many people have raised doubts about EVMs. The election authorities – which work under Modi government – refused to entertain the opposition complaints. The MCD election was held on EVMs. Obviously, BJP won.

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Mayawati – who is a former chief minister of U.P. – had blamed the BJP headed by PM Modi for the voting fraud. She said that BJP rigged the election by tampering with the EVMs in U.P.

Although BJP rejected Mayawati’s allegations, the BSP leader had filed a complaint against Modi’s party. In its complaint to the Chief Election Commissioner, Mayawati’s BSP had stated that BJP had hired software and technology experts to manipulate the voting machines and win the election.

Mayawati said that similar rigging had happened in the 2014 Lok Sabha election also that Modi won to become the PM. It is believed that the last Lok Sabha election result would not have favoured BJP if the voting had happened on paper ballots.

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Now it is argued that the so-called ‘Modi wave’ was not driven by voters, but it was driven by voting machines. Obviously, BJP will always oppose paper ballots and any investigation into the misuse of EVMs. And it goes without saying that the Election Commission of India (ECI) will always obey Modi.

So, the writing on the wall is clear for Congress: Ingnore the voters, focus on voting machines. Instead of wandering in every street of Gujarat to meet voters, Rahul Gandhi must sit in a corner and think only about EVMs and how he can leverage these machines to win the Gujarat election and other future elections that Congress will contest.

The Gujarat Legislative Assembly election, 2017 is scheduled to be held on December 9 and December 14 for all the 182 members of the Assembly and the results will be declared on December 18.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a government’s National award-winning journalist and social activist. He has formed an environment-protection group called Green Group in Delhi. Earlier, he had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development. He also runs a free school for deserving children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.

Photo courtesy: Congress

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