Tech-savvy leader Chandrababu Naidu, who claims to be the master of technology in administration, is now speaking against the same technology. He wants the Election Commission to withdraw the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for the 2019 elections. He joined the Congress and others in opposing the EVMs in the next elections in the light of allegations of rigging the votes by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the chances of hacking the EVMs.
Some IT experts have been saying that the EVMs can be hacked and the votes can be rigged in favour of any political party. This charge has been there for several years and there were demonstrations in the Parliament on EVMs being hacked. The EC too had come out in its defence and claimed time and again that the EVMs are safe and cannot be hacked. But, the theory goes with Opposition parties not accepting it.
The Congress had been raising voice against the EVMs ever since the BJP scored the highest majority in the 2014 elections. Doubts over the EVMs raised in the minds of the common voters with the BJP winning with thumping majority in Uttar Pradesh, that too after demonetisation and the rise of Hindutva forces particularly the cow (gau) rakshaks taking on the beef eaters across the country with specific reference to Uttar Pradesh. The BJP, interestingly, had won more seats with greater majority in the Muslim dominated segments in Uttar Pradesh, which had led people to suspect the credibility of the EVMs.
Now, the Opposition parties have joined the Congress team in opposing the EVMs next time. The Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Aam Aadmi Party and now the TDP have voiced against the use of the EVMs for the 2019 elections. They want to petition the Election Commission to drop the EVMs in the next election.
Though the Election Commission had introduced Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), the Opposition parties are against the use of the EVMs and Chandrababu Naidu is making his point strong. It is to be seen what the Election Commission would do when the entire Opposition resists the use of EVM and demands for the ballot paper.