The losing parties in Indian elections have a unique character. They begin crying foul the moment the results come out and instead of doing any introspection, they blame everything under the sun for the results not going to their favour.
The latest in the list of such losers is the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh, Congress in Uttarakhand and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over the just-concluded Punjab elections. Each of them have alleged that their losses in the respective state elections were caused by tampering of the electronic voting machines (EVMs). And as it is always seen, the AAP chief and chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, made the most dramatic charges while alleging that faulty EVMs had stolen his parties in Punjab, the state which he was desperately to snatch from the SAD-BJP combine.
Was AAP expecting 45-50 per cent vote-share in Punjab?
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What Kejriwal said at a press conference about the issue on Wednesday (March 15) made a mockery of the functioning of electoral procedure as well as the voters. Kejriwal was wondering how the SAD won more vote-shares than the AAP and suspected that tampering in the voting machine had seen 20-25 per cent of the party's vote share getting transferred to the SAD-BJP. It may be mentioned here that the AAP got 23.7 per cent vote-share in Punjab election, finishing third after the Congress's 38.5 per cent and the SAD's 25.2 per cent. Did Kejriwal really mean that his party, which made its debut in the state's Assembly election this year, was set to get 45-50 per cent vote share?
Kejriwal also said that the Supreme Court has expressed concern over the possibility of tampering of EVMs and it is time to rethink about a better alternative.
However, the Delhi CM's most ridiculous remark on the matter was: "People who tamper EVMs, they should answer why they didn't do so in Delhi & Bihar?" Was Kejriwal trying to justify the BJP's big losses under Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the elections in Delhi and Bihar in 2015? We can take this opportunity to ask the AAP leader: Was the AAP's winning 67 out of 70 seats in the Delhi elections of 2015 genuine? Were the EVMs working properly at that time?
Did AAP analyse the real issues that saw it losing the Punjab polls?
This tendency of denouncing the very democratic system after losing elections is an eternal characteristic of India's Opposition parties. The likes of Mayawati and Harish Rawat besides Kejriwal know fully well that they have clearly no answer to Modi's juggernaut, thanks to their own political failures. If one speaks about the AAP, the party never had a grip on the grassroots in Punjab and on the top of it, there were prospects of the AAP cozying up to Khalistani elements which saw the anti-incumbency waves going in favour of the Congress and not Kejriwal's party. The party also did not find a strong local face while its talks with Navjot Singh Sidhu, a popular face who it could bank as its chief ministerial face, broke down.
Instead of having an introspection on these issues, the AAP leadership is now busy blaming the EVMs. It is doing so understanding very well that blaming Modi directly will make it look even a bigger fool. But does the hit-and-run politics of the AAP really has any scope for an introspection?
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Kejriwal also mentioned about BJP patriarch raising the same issue in the past, after the party lost the 2009 Lok Sabha election. No doubt, the rudderless BJP was thinking like Kejriwal at that time. But the BJP has come a long way since then and it is completely useless for Kejriwal now to make Advani also a part of his crusade.
Mamata Banerjee was the pioneer in this art of crying foul after losing
We have also seen in the past how politicians like Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress used to cry foul each time she failed against the powerful Left Front in elections. Paper ballots were something that were more vulnerable to tampering and slowly, the EVMs replaced them. Even then, Banerjee used to claim that the elections were "scientifically rigged". Now, Kejriwal is parroting the Didis and Behenjis.
Grow up, India's Opposition! The way you are behaving, you may want to scrap the very election system to hide your shortcomings.
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