Updated April 26th, 2024 at 15:35 IST

Exclusive/ Prashant Bhushan, Rahul Trying to Derail India's Electoral Process: Mahesh Jethmalani on EVM Verdict

Jethmalani said that petitioner Prashant Bhushan, Kejriwal, Rahul Gandhi are all "fellow travellers," who are trying to undermine India's democratic image

Reported by: Digital Desk
Mahesh Jethmalani rips apart Rahul Gandhi and Prashant Bhushan over SC's EVM verdict | Image:PTI

New Delhi: In a major verdict that came as a setback to the INDI alliance, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea asking for 100 per cent matching of votes on electronic voting machines (EVMs) with the slips printed by the VVPAT machine or returning back to the paper ballot system. Reacting to the apex court's verdict, Rajya Sabha MP and top jurist Mahesh Jethmalani was unsparing in his criticism of Congress and called out their repeated failed attempts to undermine India's electoral process. Talking exclusively to Republic, Jethmalani said that petitioner Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi are all "fellow travellers", who are trying to undermine India's democratic image globally in the name of democracy.

Here are the edited excerpts from the interview:


First reaction -- Anti-national move

This was a petition purely based on a suspicion like the court pointed out. It's not justifiable suspicion. The problem is that now an attempt is being made to cast doubt on an inimitable verdict. It is quite clear that PM Narendra Modi is in for a substantial majority. They are also trying to suggest that our democracy and electoral process is flawed. It is a signal to the world that the EVM is capable of being tampered and is being tampered. They're bad losers. Bhushan is an eternal dissenter. He has enjoyed a lot of space when the UPA was in power. His shrinking space is seriously bothering him. He takes up these issues and because of his presence in SC, the court does entertain him. Lot of times his petitions are frivolous or they're dismissed. Unfortunately, this undermines our image as democracy. This (petition) was an anti-national move.

On Opposition repeatedly trying to challenge EVMs

EC has been summoned again and again by the SC. This is not the first time the SC is entertaining such petition. In 2019, constitutional bench examined the whole process. These people are just labouring their case and repeatedly trying to get an order that casts aspersions on our electoral system. That is the unwholesome path what they're trying to do.

On Jairam Ramesh's Tweet: "The Indian National Congress was not a party, directly or indirectly, to the petition on VVPATs which has been rejected by the Supreme Court today"

Ramesh has been sobered up by the SC decision. Prior to that, both of them (Ramesh and Rahul) used to say that we have a faulty EVM system. They said that if you got rid of this system and went back to ballot system, then the results might have been different. These are all pre-lost excuses that are being churned out. All pre-determined attempt...these are all fellow travelers...Kejriwal and Bhusan were once fellow travellers once upon a time. They are cut from the same cloth. Their ideology is one of anarchy and nihilism - by proclaiming that they are actually strengthening democracy.

Larger ecosystem at play to compromise the dignity of the mandate

This is a cabal, not only of the Cong - the Leftist, Maoist culture has attached itself with the consent of the Congress party. They are now taking up fringe issues. They are so desperate now because they are in their death throes right now. They're willing to take extreme measures not matter whatever the cost to the nation is...They trying to create a doubt on any election verdict that comes. You're questioning the legitimacy of our whole electoral process...when the Congress party has an agenda, its first announced. They won't take it to court. First, you have Rahul and Priyanka and then sometimes Jairam Ramesh making statements about the authenticity of the electoral system. The actual court battle would be fought by its more extremists, at least on the face of it by fellow travellers by Prashant Bhushan and company. 


Published April 26th, 2024 at 15:35 IST