General Elections 2019 – Day 31
EVM failure, missing names, and violence mar an otherwise hectic day of voting
Indian citizens enthusiastically went out to cast their vote in the world’s largest democratic exercise. Several polling booths witnessed record crowds, but violence in certain parts of the country marred an otherwise perfect day of polling. Andhra Pradesh witnessed the most chaotic scenes with TDP and YSRCP supporters violently clashing in many booths.
Missing names from voter lists seemed to trigger the violence. Shobana Kamineni of Apollo Hospitals’ was disappointed to find her name deleted from the voter’s list. In Bangalore, Biocon Chairman founder Kiran Mazumdar Shaw tweeted her mother’s name missing from the list, the reason given was a change of address. The trend of missing names was reported in many parts of the country, and the Election Commission has a lot of explaining to do.
The other big problem, albeit a technical one, is the continuing malfunctioning of EVMs. It is indeed surprising in an age where heavy-duty technologies like smartphones continue to work non-stop, how does the Indian-made EVMs end up malfunctioning frequently? A.P CM Chandrababu Naidu has complained to the EC claiming over 157 EVMs had been reported malfunctioning in the state.
Another aspect the EC needs to explain is why adequate reserve EVMs are not available at each booth based on an average number of breakdowns?
“Will scrap Article 370” on forming the Govt claims Amit Shah
Speaking at a rally in Kalimpong, West Bengal, BJP president Amit Shah once again raised the issue of scrapping of Article 370 in J&K saying the BJP-led NDA would scrap the controversial Article 370 to enable stronger integration with the rest of the country.
Mr Shah, however, has not clarified how the party would succeed in scrapping the controversial Article in the next term, in light of the fact it’s been part of BJP’s poll manifesto since inception but the party failed to act on their promise.
He taunted West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee for appeasing Muslims, by questioning the Balakot strikes and for extending support to separatists and sympathetic politicians in J&K. Who were suggesting a separate PM for the state. He demanded Ms Banerjee clarify her stand on whether she too supports the demand for a separate PM for J&K.
He reiterated BJP’s commitment to extending the NRC across India saying his party would ensure all illegal immigrants be weeded out.
“Havan” before nomination for Sonia Gandhi and Smriti Irani
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi stuck to the family tradition of performing ‘Havan’ puja before proceeding to file her nomination for the Rae Bareilly Lok Sabha seat, hoping to win a fifth term. She began the day with a massive roadshow through the streets of Rae Bareilly. She was accompanied by her son and Congress President Rahul Gandhi, her daughter Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra.
Following Rahul Gandhi’s the 3 km drive roadshow yesterday on the way to filing his nomination papers from Amethi, Smriti Irani held a massive roadshow extending 4 km, on the way to performing a ‘Havan’ puja before proceeding to file her nomination papers from Amethi. She was accompanied by UP CM Yogi Adityanath who exuded confidence that Smriti Irani would defeat Rahul Gandhi in his family bastion.
Prakash Ambedkar is dividing Dalit votes, says RPI-A leader Ramdas Athawale
RPI-A leader Ramdas Athawale rued Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar dividing the Dalit vote in Maharashtra. Athawale was in Pune extending support to Girish Bapat (BJP) who is contesting the Pune seat. Speaking to the media, Ramdas Athawale was disappointed that Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) party was dividing the Dalit votes and damaging the common Dalit cause. He said Ambedkar should instead join the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance to deliver better justice to the Dalits.