As it happened: General election 2019 | Opposition maligning our democracy anticipating defeat: Amit Shah

A Central Industrial Security Force man stands guard outside a counting centre at Mundera Mandi in Allahabad on May 22, 2019.

A Central Industrial Security Force man stands guard outside a counting centre at Mundera Mandi in Allahabad on May 22, 2019.

New Delhi


Home Ministry asks States, UTs to remain alert

A day before counting of votes for the Lok Sabha polls, the Union Home Ministry on May 22 alerted all States and Union Territories on the possibility of violence in different parts of the country, saying calls were given in various quarters to incite violence.

In a statement, the Ministry also said it has asked the States and UTs to maintain law and order, peace and public tranquillity.

“The Home Ministry has alerted the State chief secretaries and directors general of police regarding possibility of eruption of violence in different parts of the country in connection with the counting of votes tomorrow,” the statement said.

The Ministry said the States and UTs have been further asked to take adequate measures for the security of strong rooms and venues of counting of votes.

“This is in the wake of calls given and statements made in various quarters for inciting violence and causing disruption on the day of counting of votes,” it said.

The central security agencies have received inputs that some organisations and individuals, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Tripura, have given certain statements which may lead to violence and disruption in counting process, an official said.


New Delhi

Opposition maligning our democracy anticipating defeat: Amit Shah

BJP president Amit Shah on May 22 slammed the Opposition over its doubts on EVMs, saying the rival parties are rattled by their likely defeat and are “tarnishing” India and its democracy by raising questions on its electoral process.

He also termed as unconstitutional the demand of 22 Opposition parties that the Election Commission change its counting protocol and count five random VVPATs first, saying any decision in this regard is not possible without an all-party consensus.

In a series of tweets, Mr. Shah said the Supreme Court has given final shape to electoral process by hearing three PILs and asked if the opposition is raising questions on the apex court.

Any opposition to electronic voting machines is disrespect to people’s mandate, he said, adding that many rival parties came to power through elections done through EVMs in the past.

New Delhi


Opposition complaining about EVMs in face of imminent defeat: Paswan

“I have been saying for many months that as soon Opposition starts seeing its defeat it will begin complaining about the EVMs. Look at Mamata Banerjee... she tried very hard to use violence to get a favourable verdict but by and large the elections were free and fair,” Mr. Paswan told reporters at a press conference in New Delhi.


New Delhi

Election Commission’s VVPAT decision goes against Supreme Court order: Yechury

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on May 22 said the Election Commission’s rejection of the Opposition demand to first count the VVPAT slips went against the “spirit” of a Supreme Court order on the devices.

Mr. Yechury’s reaction comes after the commission is learnt to have stuck to its plan to count the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips in the end and not in the beginning as demanded by the Opposition. “This goes against the spirit of the Supreme Court Order on VVPATs delivered before polling began,” Mr. Yechury tweeted.

An EVM and a Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine. File

An EVM and a Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine. File


“If the process has been so long drawn for the sake of integrity of the electoral process, why is (the) EC not adhering to the basic principle of testing the sample first,” the Left leader asked.

“Integrity of EVMs by matching with sample VVPATs has to be done at the start of the counting,” Mr. Yechury said. “Doing so after the trends are declared makes it infructuous and is likely to lead to protests and a possible law and order situation from the affected candidates.”

New Delhi


Election Commission rejects Opposition demand on VVPAT

The Election Commission has rejected the demand of the Opposition parties for tallying of the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips in five polling booths in each Assembly segment with the electronic voting machines (EVMs) prior to the counting of votes. Representatives of 22 Opposition parties met the Commission on May 21 to raise the demand.

New Delhi

Arsonists don’t belong to any party: Supreme Court

People who indulge in arson and rioting neither belong to nor are loyal to any political party. They join the party in power to commit violence, said the Supreme Court Vacation Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M.R. Shah on Thursday.

The bench was hearing an urgent plea filed by Arjun Singh, a BJP candidate from the Barrackpore parliamentary constituency in West Bengal.


New Delhi

Rahul Gandhi dubs exit polls fraudulent, asks Congress workers to be alert

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on May 22 dubbed exit polls as “fraudulent” and appealed to party workers to be alert.

“Next 24 hours are important. Need to be alert and vigilant. There is no need to be disappointed by fraudulent exit polls. Have faith in yourself and the Congress party. Your efforts won’t go in vain,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted.

For the past three days, the Congress chief had maintained silence over the exit polls.


New Delhi

Opposition wants to discredit democracy, says Naqvi

Attacking the Congress and other Opposition parties for raising concerns about EVMs, senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Wednesday said they want to discredit democracy as they are unable to digest defeat of the dynasty .

The Minority Affairs Minister said the glamour of victory and grace in defeat should be two sides of the same coin for those who believe in democracy.

The way the Congress and its allies are putting on a horror show over their defeat , makes it clear that these political parties want to make the country’s democratic and constitutional system a means of convenience , Mr. Naqvi told reporters.


New Delhi

EC wants to set new precedent of ‘dark secrets’, ‘secluded chambers’: Congress

A day before the counting of the votes polled in the Lok Sabha election, the Congress on Wednesday termed as “constitutional travesty” the EC’s rejection of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s demand that dissent notes should be recorded and alleged that the poll watchdog wanted to set a new precedent of “dark secrets” and “secluded chambers” in performing its duties.

“A Constitutional travesty! ECI wants to set a new precedent of ‘dark secrets’ & ‘secluded chambers’ in doing its constitutional duties.

“If CEC can’t play fair in its functioning, can it play fair in ensuring a free & fair election?,” Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala wrote on Twitter.

His comments came a day after the Election Commission (EC) decided not to record the dissents put forward by the members of the “full commission”, overruling Lavasa.

On Tuesday, the poll panel rejected with a majority vote Lavasa’s demand that dissent notes should be recorded in its orders on model code violations, days after the simmering tension within the EC over the issue came out in the open.

New Delhi

SC agrees to hear Arjun Singh’s plea seeking protection from arrest

The Supreme Court on May 22 took note of violence during Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal and agreed to hear the plea of BJP candidate from Barrackpore seat seeking protection from arrest in several cases lodged against him by the State police.

A Vacation Bench comprising Arun Mishra and M.R. Shah took note of the submissions of BJP leader Arjun Singh that he be granted protection from arrest as he wanted to be present during counting of votes for Lok Sabha elections on May 23 at Barrackpore in West Bengal. — PTI



Naidu meets Gowda over EVM issue

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu on May 21 met former Prime Minister and JDS chief H.D. Deve Gowda as part of his efforts to mobilise Opposition parties on the controversy over alleged manipulation of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

Confabulating with Mr. Gowda for over an hour in Bengaluru late on Tuesday night after a meeting of Opposition parties in New Delhi on the EVM issue earlier in the day, Mr. Naidu said 23 parties were raising the issue and demanding transparency and accountability. “Earlier, even the BJP had opposed EVMs,” he said. “In Uttar Pradesh, we are seeing EVMs in hotels and homes... strong rooms are being changed,” Mr. Naidu alleged. - PTI

New Delhi

Tally EVM-VVPAT slips before final counting, Opposition tells EC

Twenty-two Opposition parties met the Election Commission  (EC) on Tuesday demanding that tallying of the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips in five polling booths in each Assembly segment with the electronic voting machines (EVMs) be done prior to the counting of votes.

If any discrepancy is found anywhere in the VVPAT verification, hundred per cent counting of paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations of that Assembly segment should be done, the parties demanded.  The EC, however, remained non-committal  and told them that there would be a special meeting of the full Commission on Wednesday to examine the issue.

New Delhi

EC to set up control room for EVM complaints

Faced with widespread Opposition allegations of EVM swapping and tampering, the Election Commission on Tuesday announced that an EVM control room (011- 23052123) will be set up at the Nirvachan Sadan for handling any EVM-related complaints till the completion of counting.

The control room will become operative from 11 a.m. on May 22.


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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 5:36:02 pm |