Lok Sabha Election 2019

Sam Pitroda questions legitimacy of EVMs under BJP rule

Speaking his mind: Sam Pitroda at a session organised by the All India Professionals’ Congress on Friday.

Speaking his mind: Sam Pitroda at a session organised by the All India Professionals’ Congress on Friday.  

Says the party’s claims of staying in power for 50 years cause him worry

Casting doubt over the functioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) to be used in the general elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s close aide Sam Pitroda on Friday said that when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) says that it will win for next 50 years, it makes him worried about the machines.

“No one in the world uses the quantity of EVMs that we use in the elections. No one trusts them, including the developed nations. The only country which uses it may be Estonia. There is something wrong with these machines which we have not been able to pin-point. As technical guy, I have to voice honest opinions, even if my colleagues in Congress party ask me not to speak about it,” he said. Mr. Pitroda was speaking at an interactive session with Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha, organised by the All India Professionals’ Congress.

Mr. Pitroda said that the there have been various theories as to how the machines can be manipulated. “Is it an algorithm, defence frequency or something else, it isn’t possible to point out. But when BJP says that it will remain in power for next 50 years, it makes me worry about the machines’ performance,” he added.

Earlier, Mr. Pitroda said that he was involved for the first time in his career in the issue of forming alliances for the elections. “We aren’t able to do it in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, which has given the impression that we are not bending. But we did conduct negotiations. There has to be a give and take in it, but the opposite side was making unreasonable demands and it turned out to be only take from the Congress and one sees no alliances here,” he said.

‘Staring at a crisis’

Answering questions on a range of issues, the man who is credited with the telecom revolution in India said that the country is staring at a crisis. He claims that the “idea of India” is at stake and the economy is in trouble. “India will not see growth and development if there is no freedom and democracy,” Mr. Pitroda added.

Drawing parallels between the political leadership of India and the United States, Mr Pitroda said, “Both countries are saying the enemy is at the border, claim opposition leaders are corrupt and both leaders boast of rags to riches story and have no problem in lying to the people. Democracy is at stake everywhere.”

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 1:52:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/sam-pitroda-questions-legitimacy-of-evms-under-bjp-rule/article26751457.ece

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