EVMs led to Cong’s poor show in election, claims KPCC chief

EVMs led to Cong’s poor show in election, claims KPCC chief

G Parameshwara. DH file photo

The Congress on Thursday blamed electronic voting machines (EVMs) as one of the reasons for its debacle in the elections.

The Congress was reduced to 78 seats from the 122 it won in the previous 2013 elections. The BJP went up from its earlier 40 seats to 104. However, no party bagged the required number of seats to form a government on its own, forcing the Congress to join hands with the JD(S), which won 38. 

“We had a doubt that electronic voting machines were manipulated. I also personally feel there was such a possibility,” Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, who is also the KPCC president, told reporters here.

Parameshwara claimed that the party had identified constituencies where 70-80% of the population were Congress voters. “If the BJP got high leads in such constituencies, certainly there will be doubts. I’m not saying EVMs were manipulated in all 224 Assembly constituencies, but those who do it are clever. Manipulation will be done to ensure victory in select places,” he said.

The deputy chief minister was responding to a question on why the Congress faced defeat in the elections. He objected to the use of the word ‘defeat’ and pointed out that the Congress had increased it vote share to 38.4%. “If we had been defeated, we’d not have come forward to form a government.”

The Congress, he said, will continue its campaign against EVMs. “Much, much before the election, we had given a representation to the Election Commission demanding ballot papers. In the coming days we will continue to oppose the machines. We don’t want EVMs. We want ballot papers. We will demand this for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. It’s up to them to consider or not.”

Parameshwara also admitted that there could have been sabotage. “We will form a committee to scientifically analyse our loss. In some places, it has come to my notice that there was internal sabotage. If that is found true, action will be taken against those involved.”