Have ‘no doubt’ about functioning of EVMs: Ajit Pawar

Pune: NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar appear to be on different pages on the use of EVMs in polling with the latter saying he has “no doubt” about functioning of the machine.

Ajit Pawar, without naming the BJP, said “they” would not have lost polls in five states if the electronic voting machines (EVMs) could be tampered. The former Maharashtra deputy CM did not name the states. The Assembly polls were held in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram in November and December last year.

The BJP lost power in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh, and failed to make a mark in the other two states also. The NCP chief is among the key opposition leaders who have been raising questions over the use of EVMs and pitching for the use of ballot papers in elections.

“Several people have doubts about EVMs. They feel it could be tampered with, which is detrimental to democracy,” Ajit Pawar told reporters in Pune on Tuesday. “I don’t think so, but the­se people keep saying this. If that was the case, they (BJP) would not have lost (polls in) five states,” he added. It was not the first time he defended the EVMs.

Speaking to media persons in Nagpur on October 30 last year, Ajit Pawar had said he personally trusted these machines. Sharad Pawar last week said he himself had seen vote cast in favour of his party reflecting in the BJP’s kitty. “I am also concerned about the machine. In Hyderabad and Gujarat, some people kept an EVM before me and asked me to press a button.

I pressed the button against ‘watch’ (the NCP’s symbol) and the vote got cast in favour of ‘lotus’ (the BJP’s symbol). I saw it happening myself,” the former Union minister said in Satara. The Maratha strongman last month also addressed a joint press conference with leaders like Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on the issue, voicing concerns over the use of EVMs.