The botched up attempt on EVMs and the Priyanka-factor of the Congress
The Congress party made a big goof-up with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with their Member of Parliament and the legal luminary of the party Kapil Sibal attending the EVM hackathon in London. It goes without saying, that he (Mr Sibal) wanted to malign India’s voting system and also specifically the image of BJP for its fantastic win in 2014 with a massive mandate. In the due process, he also came out with another ludicrous story that was supposed to have happened in Hyderabad that made the whole nation to laugh at. No one bought his arguments which he claimed ‘serious’ and to be probed as narrated by him in the story.
One maverick, Syed Shuja, making allegations and another eccentric politician asking for the veracity the claims made, as if this country had no other serious business, is something flippant by its very nature. There are two leaders whose potential could destroy the century old Congress party are none other than Kapil Sibal and Manishankar Iyer. Of course, there is no dearth for other Old-bigwigs: the likes of Digvijaya Singh who could cause immense damage to the party but they appear dwarfed before the aforesaid stalwarts.
Kapil Sibal’s recent hackathon in London turned out to be a storm in the teacup. To avert the crisis the Congress party might have chosen for the announcement of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra entry into the party (to deliberately divert the attention of the nation) though she’s not available in the country. Many questioned the haste with which they the party president announced.
The opposition parties that are asking for the credibility of the EVMs have every right to ask for in a democracy. They are privileged to call for a demonstration by the Election Commission. The EC readily gave such demonstrations earlier also for the interested.
When there’s so much of technological advancement, going back to ballot paper is a regressive step. The worry of electoral malpractices is more in ballot paper in India than in EVMs. Earlier in the days of paper- ballot, polling booths were captured. Elections were rigged. TN Seshan, the election commissioner then used to say sarcastically that Indians know only Rig-Veda meaning to say only rigging in elections. In those days, some parties with a rowdy-clout used to replace rigged ballot boxes of their party with the voted- boxes. This used to happen not only in remote corner where the law has no immediate reach, even in cities. To crack such cases, the police have had to risk their lives.
Technology may be tampered will-fully but not otherwise. Election Commission in India is independent and non-partisan. Moreover, before elections, a government of the state or the Centre is only a care- taker government not vested with full powers to do something whimsically. In an election commission, there are innumerable employees to oversee the electoral practice. One cannot doubt all. They have their party affiliations. Hence, they will, in no way, try hard to make one particular party win. The recent statement of the Chief Elections Commissioner to go ahead with the EVMs and that there’s no reversal to paper ballot boxes should close the chapter once and for all.
Coming to Priyanka Vadra’s entry into Congress party as General Secretary and in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh is, as expected, a boost to the morale of the beleaguered party and its cadre. For her, it’s an uphill task to face Modi-Yogi duo on their own trough. It’s not the bran but the brain that matters in India. Rahul Gandhi’s political wisdom has made him accept Hindu religion and to be a Hindu in India.
What does Priyanka do, will she talk only on mundane issues of farmers distress, unemployment or highlighting the other so-called failures of the present government or issues coupled with Hindu-psyche, is to be wait and watched. Anyway, as the old adage goes, ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’.
I am Indira Garimella living in Hyderabad. I hold a Master’s Degree and M. Phil (in English) with M.Ed. I worked as PGT in English in Government run Residential Schools. I have been associated with Pragna Bharati, Hyderabad (an RSS backed NGO) for the past 25 years. I was one of the office-bearers in the Organisation from 1994 to 2004 i.e. I was the in-charge of Publications during that period. I have been a keen observer of National Politics and also write letters and articles to the English and Telugu newspapers from time to time.