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Who will blame EVM Today?

The truth is that no one can tamper with the EVMs because they are not connected to the internet. They are standalone, wired devices. This makes online hacking impossible. Those who claim that elections conducted through EVMs are rigged should remember that the process of assigning EVMs to polling booths is complicated.

The nearly two-and-a-half-month-long festival of Indian democracy comes to an end today (Tuesday) with the announcement of Lok Sabha election results. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar announced the schedule for the Lok Sabha elections on March 16. The voting process took place in seven phases, spanning from 19 April to 1 June. Now it’s time to count the votes. It is hoped that the results will be accepted without question.

Of course, the Lok Sabha election results will reveal the accuracy of the exit poll and other predictions. However, is there any guarantee that the defeated parties and candidates will not blame the EVMs for their loss? Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has made serious allegations against Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He alleged that Shah contacted 150 district magistrates and collectors over phone. The Election Commission, taking the allegation seriously, asked Ramesh for evidence. Jairam Ramesh claimed on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) that “The outgoing Home Minister is calling District Magistrates/Collectors. So far he has spoken to 150 of them. This is blatant and shameless intimidation and shows how desperate the BJP is. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi also said that if the elections are conducted honestly, the BJP will not win more than 180 seats.

In recent times, a section of India’s population has emerged that is chronically dissatisfied. They stay in a blame game mode all the time. Don’t be surprised if the losing candidates blame the EVMs for their loss after the Lok Sabha results are announced. It is clear that they cannot accept defeat under any circumstances. In their frustration, they shamelessly point to EVMs as the reason for their loss. These pessimistic and frustrated elements remain silent when they win. Allegations of EVM tampering were baseless and baseless.

Those who question the credibility of the MEV shamelessly call for elections to be conducted using ballots. Ballot advocates forget the election chaos of the ballot era. There was widespread voter fraud.

The truth is that no one can tamper with the EVMs because they are not connected to the internet. They are standalone, wired devices. This makes online hacking impossible. Those who claim that elections conducted through EVMs are rigged should remember that the process of assigning EVMs to polling booths is complicated. First, the Lok Sabha constituency is determined, followed by the assembly constituency and finally the polling booth. This is a long process. In addition, polling officers are informed of the specific MEVs assigned to them only one day before the election. The EVM consists of two machines: one for voting and one for control. A third unit, the VVPAT, displays a slip to the voter, providing confirmation that their vote has been correctly cast. Before the voting process begins, polling officers conduct a mock poll in front of election officials representing all parties in dispute. Following this process, the candidates’ polling agents provide the head of the polling booth with a certificate confirming the correct mock poll. Even after such a rigorous examination of the EVMs, it is impossible to appease those who refuse to trust them.

Meanwhile, accurately predicting exit polls in a complex and diverse country like India is not easy. However, the 2024 Lok Sabha elections will be remembered for the lack of meaningful discussion on fundamental issues like corruption, health and education. Political analysts, journalists and political activists began announcing potential election results at least 15 days before the results. The predictions made by election strategist Prashant Kishor were highly controversial. He claimed that the Congress will not win 100 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. He claimed that the BJP would either retain or exceed its number of seats in the 2019 general elections. Those who rejected Kishor’s claims fell silent after the exit polls were released. Most exit polls predicted the BJP to cross the 350-seat mark. However, from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, various leaders are calling the exit polls fake. The truth will be revealed after today’s vote count.

Meanwhile, renowned astrologer, columnist and author Pandit JP Trikha has made his prediction after extensive research on the Lok Sabha election results. Pandit Trikha says, “My astrological studies clearly indicate that the BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the party with the most seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.” According to Pandit Trikha, “Narendra Modi’s Moon Sign is Scorpio. He was born on September 17, 1950. He is ruled by Mars. Scorpios are very intelligent and perceptive and possess leadership qualities. They are born leaders. Modi Ji has proved this time and again.”

Before conducting exit polls, agencies deploy their staff outside polling booths. These staff poll voters after they have voted about who they voted for. The collected data is then analyzed in depth. Long-time observers of the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections argue that every election is unique. The issues at stake in two different elections are different.

Amid the scorching heat that gripped much of the country, millions of voters exercised their right, ensuring the success of the democratic festival. However, the intense heat resulted in the death of a significant number of government employees. The Election Commission must consider holding the upcoming Lok Sabha elections under more favorable weather conditions. It must also be recognized that the level of accusations and counter-accusations during the election campaign has sunk to the gutter. While debate, argument, dissent, dialogue and discussion are crucial in a democracy, unfortunately critical issues were overlooked during the election campaign.

(The author is a Delhi-based senior journalist and writer. He is the author of Gandhi’s Delhi, which revealed many hidden facts about Mahatma Gandhi)