Posts Tagged ‘Suresh Pachouri’
The BJP swept the February-March, 2017 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The instant reaction of BSP supremo Mayawati to her party’s miserable performance in Uttar Pradesh was that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were manipulated. Soon the Samajwadi Party and AAP leaders joined Mayawati’s outcry. Even some Congress leaders in Uttarakhand also started talking about EVM manipulation. Meanwhile, a discussion on the fragmentation of non-BJP votes in Uttar Pradesh had also started (the BJP got so many seats with a vote share of less than 40 per cent while the combined vote share of BSP and SP was over 44 per cent plus six per cent of the Congress share).
The subject of EVM manipulation has been cropping up almost from the time EVMs were introduced. A sort of campaign on this issue was launched by then Madhya Pradesh Congress President Suresh Pachouri after the 2008 Assembly elections which had returned BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan for the second term. A distraught Pachouri had threatened to expose EVM manipulations with the help of his “friends in the UK and the US”.
Before Pachouri could carry out his threat, Lal Krishna Advani jumped in the fray after the BJP lost the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and his dream of becoming the Prime Minister was shattered. He demanded discontinuation of EVMs and going back to the printed ballot papers. Advani’s demand was supported by the leaders of various parties like the AIADMK, CPI (M), Janata Dal (S) and the Lok Janshakti Party. Advani had the support of a bureaucrat also. Former Delhi chief secretary Omesh Saigal had surfaced to claim that he knew a secret code in the EVM, through which the machine could be programmed to transfer every fifth vote to a particular candidate. Petitions were filed in courts on the fallibility of EVMs, one of the most vocal petitioners being BJP’s Kirit Somaiya.
There was so much noise in the country that the Election Commission felt it had to do something. In August 2009, the Commission randomly obtained 100 EVMs from 10 States (Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh). The Commission invited political leaders, petitioners and other critics of EVMs and also made the media announcement that the EVMs would be kept in the Commission office for a specified period and anyone could come and show how these machines could be manipulated. No one did. The EVM bogey, though, has one merit. It keeps occupied the politicians who have been defeated in the elections and have nothing else to do at the moment.
Madhya Pradesh may be lagging behind in several other respects but it is far ahead of several other States in producing some of the “finest” politicians – that is, the politicians in the real sense for whom nothing else matters. The people, particularly the poor, are for them the means of playing politics and making money since the poor people hardly know how much in their name has been allocated and how much is reaching them and in what form.
Here are two gems from Madhya Pradesh in case their respective parties feel like projecting them as Prime Minister at some stage.
Congress can declare Digvijaya Singh its Prime Ministerial candidate. He has all the qualities that make him eminently eligible for the high office. He never does what he says and never says what he intends to do. He can be secular, deeply religious, pro-Muslim or pro-Hindutva as the occasion demands. He can carry off big corruption without getting his name directly associated with the deed. He will train into corruption the officers who have aptitude and ability. He can manage CBI, Lokayukta and judges at various levels. Most important, BJP leaders will whine or bark only after consulting him.
Multiply by 100 the qualities of Digvijaya Singh and you have Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who can be BJP’s ‘ideal’ Prime Ministerial candidate. He can roll out untruths and half-truths with such rapidity that one cannot but marvel at the speed. Digvijaya Singh looks a novice before him in matters of corruption. The astounding ground on which the Dumper Scam case against him and his wife was dumped shows that Lokayukta and special judge are like members of his outhouse staff. CBI conveniently failed to notice the tampering of evidence by the topmost police officials and Medico-Legal Institute Director in the Shehla Masood murder case and did not even question those about whose illegal activities Shehla Masood had sought information through RTI just before her murder. As for the Opposition Congress, the less said the better. Ever wondered why Digvijaya Singh’s name was deleted from the list of accused in the Treasure Island scam case or why Suresh Pachouri had kept himself distanced from the Dumper Scam case or why Kantilal Bhuria had taken so long to react when the Income-Tax raids had exposed the rackets of Dilip Suryavanshi and Sudhir Sharma?