'Forget exit polls' predictions, Cong will form govt'

Last Updated 22 October 2019, 12:57 IST

Ignoring exit polls' predictions of a landslide victory to the ruling BJP in the October 21 Haryana assembly elections, Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja on Tuesday insisted that her party will form the next government in the state.

“I can say this with confidence that the Congress party is going to form the next government in Haryana,” she said, adding her party will win more than 45 of the 90 assembly seats.

Asked what makes her feel so confident, Selja said her assessment is "based on the feedback" she received from candidates throughout the state.

“And also the way the BJP has run this (poll) campaign, refusing to focus on issues relating to the people of Haryana" gave her that confidence, she said, adding "somewhere there is an admission of their own failures and I think the people have sensed that”.

She said the BJP “diverted” the people's attention to national issues and did not talk of issues like unemployment, economy, farmers' distress, deteriorating law and order.

On the exit polls predicting the BJP's landslide victory in Haryana, Selja said she does not believe in such predictions.

“There were some people showing opinion polls with the same content even before the voting took place,” she told reporters here.

“All that I know is that the Congress will win polls and form government in Haryana," she said.

On the BJP raising the scrapping of Article 370 in J&K and other issues national issues, Selja said the ruling outfit did not seem very confident of its works or its state leadership.

“The BJP was so low on confidence that it sent all top party leaders to campaign. And none of them talked about local issues. They did not talk about how many promises they made were fulfilled or what development they undertook during five years of their rule,” she said.

Asked about the complaints of EVMs' glitches at some places during the poll, she said she herself felt more than normal time was taken in casting the vote when she pressed the machine's button.

Casting doubt on EVM machines, she said a video of the ruling BJP candidate from Assandh Bakshish Singh Virk purportedly making controversial remarks about EVMs had emerged on the social media on the eve of the Haryana assembly polls.

Notably, the Election Commission had later issued a show cause notice to Virk and appointed a special observer to the constituency to take "corrective action".

Virk, however, had claimed he never said anything about EVMs, adding "a fake video had been made viral".

“The speech of one of their candidates has gone viral about the EVMs. Be that as it may, the Congress as a political party has raised this (EVM) issue earlier, we have been to the Election Commission.

“We have raised it in various fora the way it has worked in the recent past, there are serious doubts amongst the common people and in a democracy you cannot have that atmosphere and an environment of doubt, everything has to be above board.

“Congress, as a political party, feels the country should go back to the ballot paper system,” she said.

Justifying reverting to the old system of ballot papers, Selja said, “Our stand is that since there are doubts about EVMs and it is not being used in most advanced nations, which are much more technology savvy, we should also ensure that there is a free and fair election, above all doubts, and we should go back to the ballot paper”.

On the general elections and assembly polls in many states being held in multiple phases, Selja said, “I am sure the government would be in a position to provide all possible security. Only thing earlier about ballot paper was booth capturing and today you can ensure no such thing happens”.

(Published 22 October 2019, 12:57 IST)

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