Pre-empting a possible complaint, a senior leader of the BJP has taken a dig at the Congress and said that the party is likely to target electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the Election Commission since trends are showing that his party is winning comfortably in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
In a post on X after the trends started becoming clear on Sunday, BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya posted in Hindi, “The Congress will now start targeting EVMs and the Election Commission.”
अब EVM और चुनाव आयोग कांग्रेस के निशाने पर होगा….
— Kailash Vijayvargiya (@KailashOnline) December 3, 2023
Mr Vijayvargiya is one of the central leaders who contested the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and is leading in the Indore-1 constituency, where his fight is against the Congress’ Sanjay Shukla. The BJP leader is ahead by over 28,000 votes.
Several other BJP leaders, including Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra have also taken EVM-related jibes at the Congress since the exit polls were released on Thursday.
Trends showed the BJP springing a surprise by looking set to not only retain Madhya Pradesh in a sweep and returning to power in Rajasthan but also by upstaging the Bhupesh Baghel government in Chhattisgarh, which was widely perceived to be returning for a second term. Most exit polls had also predicted a Congres victory in Chhattisgarh.
The only ray of hope for the Congress seems to be Telangana, where the party is leading in 64 of the state’s 119 seats and looks set to defeat the Bharat Rashtra Samithi and Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who have ruled the country’s youngest state since it was formed nearly 10 years ago.
The Congress and other opposition parties have, in the past, claimed that EVMs are unreliable and had also moved the Supreme Court over the issue in 2019. In March this year, several opposition parties had met and discussed the issue. After the meeting, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said opposition parties had unanimously rejected the Election Commission plans on deployment of remote EVMs to allow migrant voters to exercise their franchise.
The BJP has maintained that the voting machines are safe and tamper-proof and accused the opposition of using EVMs as an excuse when they lose but being okay with them when they win.