Speaking at a core committee meeting, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, on Saturday, has raised doubts on the functioning of EVMs while questioning whether BJP's state assembly loss to Congress in Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan while in power was to win the national elections.
(From long ago I have always had a doubt about EVMs and its counting process. In Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and Rajasthan the BJP lost to Congress when they were in power. I always thought, 'what if this defeat was to win the general elections?')
Elaborating on his fears, he claimed that the people felt unsure whether their votes were cast to the party of their choice or not.
(The election machinery was never considered in the elections. People are unsure whether their vote has been cast in favour of a particular party (of their choice) or not. Such kind of doubts had never developed in people's minds before this. The doubts still remain.)
Surprisingly, the NCP chief the complete opposite on the day of the Lok Sabha results -May 23. He had said that he would not blame the electronic voting machines (EVMS) for the defeat of anti-BJP parties in the Lok Sabha polls and added he has gracefully accepted the people's mandate.
"I don't want to blame the machines now since the result is out. Once the verdict is out, it has to be accepted gracefully and I am accepting it gracefully," he said.
But he had said that the 'spectre of suspicion' indeed prevailed in the minds of people in the run-up to the polls.
Previously too, the NCP chief had raised concerns over the use of EVMs in polls, claiming he himself had once seen during a presentation that a vote cast for his party went in the BJP's favour.
"I pressed the button against 'watch' (the NCP's symbol) and the vote got cast in favour of 'lotus' (the BJP's symbol). I saw it happening myself," Pawar had said.
In the Maharashtra Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and Shiv Sena alliance in the state won 23 and 18 seats respectively bringing their tally to 41 in the state's 48 seats. While NCP won 4 seats, Congress was reduced to 1 seat won by Suresh alias Balu Dhanorkar from Chandrapur, where Union minister Hansraj Ahir lost. The AIMIM got its first MP from the state as its nominee Imtiaz Jaleel won from Aurangabad, defeating the Sena nominee Chandrakant Khaire.