Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar appeared to be on different pages on the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs), with the latter saying he had no doubt about their functioning.
Ajit Pawar, without naming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said that “they” would not have lost the polls in five states if EVMs could be tampered with.
The BJP had been dethroned in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh, and had failed to make a mark in Telangana and Mizoram as well.
Sharad Pawar was among the main leaders from the Opposition who had been raising questions over the use of EVMs and had been pitching for the use of ballot papers in elections.
However, Ajit said, “Several people have doubts about EVMs. They feel the machines could be tampered with, which is detrimental to democracy. I don't think so, but these people keep saying this. If that was the case, they (the BJP) would not have lost (the polls in) five states.” This is not the first time that Ajit has defended the EVMs.
Speaking to media personnel in Nagpur on October 30, 2018, Ajit had said that he personally trusted these machines.
Sharad Pawar meanwhile had said last week that he himself saw a vote cast in favour of his party reflecting in the BJP kitty.
In Satara, he said, “I am also concerned about the machine. In Hyderabad and Gujarat, some people kept an EVM before me and asked me to press a button. I pressed the button against 'watch' (the NCP’s symbol) but the vote got cast in favour of the ‘lotus’ (the BJP's symbol). I saw it happening myself.”
During the Lok Sabha elections in the state last month, the former Union agriculture minister also addressed a joint press conference with Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on the issue, voicing concerns over the use of electronic voting machines .
Mr Naidu alleged that the EVMs were vulnerable to “hacking and programming errors”, and urged the Election Commission (EC) to check all polling machines after elections.