Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday called Electronic Voting Machines “Modi Voting Machines” in his latest attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party and the prime minister during the campaign to the Bihar Assembly elections.
“Those [Electronic Voting Machines] are not named EVMs,” he said at an Araria election rally in Bihar. “Those are called MVMs, meaning Modi Voting Machines... But this time in Bihar, the youths are angry. So, be it EVM or MVM, the Grand Alliance will win.”
Gandhi further took a swipe at a section of media, saying that he won’t be worried by them in his war of ideology, NDTV reported. “Whether it’s MVM or Modi ji ka media, I am not scared of them…Truth is truth, justice is justice,” he said, according to PTI. “I am fighting a war of ideology against this man. We are fighting against their thoughts. We will defeat their thoughts.”
The Congress leader further alleged that the prime minister said unpleasant things about him and spread hatred against him. “However much hatred they try to spread, I always try to spread love,” he said. “Hatred cannot defeat hatred, only love can. I won’t budge an inch until I defeat Narendra Modi.”
The Congress leader had in 2018 also cast aspersions at the functioning of the electronic voting machines. In December 2018, Gandhi had taken a swipe at the Centre, saying the EVMs “have mysterious powers in Modi’s India”.
“In MP [Madhya Pradesh], EVMs behaved strangely after polling: Some stole a bus and vanished for two days!” Gandhi had tweeted. “Others slipped and were found drinking in a hotel.” Gandhi was referring to reports that EVMs reached a collection centre in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district 48 hours after voting ended on November 28. The party had alleged that the EVMs were taken to a hotel owned by state Home Minister Bhupendra Singh before being brought to the centre.
Later in 2019, a row had erupted over the tampering of the machines. As many as 21 Opposition parties had moved the Supreme Court in March 2019, asking it to pass a direction that electronic voting machines be made tamper-proof. The parties were demanding stricter standards and safety norms instituted to prevent EVM tampering. They also wanted 50% of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail machines to be tallied with the voting machines.
Hearing the petition, the Supreme Court had ordered that Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail slips of five electronic voting machines in every constituency to be counted instead of just one EVM in the upcoming elections.