Why is EVM manipulation issue being mixed with Lok Sabha exit poll discourse, asks Karnataka Congress’ K Sudhakar

Bengaluru: In another note of dissent from the Karnataka Congress, MLA K Sudhakar questioned on Wednesday why the issue of alleged EVM manipulation was being brought into the discourse about the Lok Sabha exit poll predictions.

 Why is EVM manipulation issue being mixed with Lok Sabha exit poll discourse, asks Karnataka Congress’ K Sudhakar

File image of Chikkaballapura MP K Sudhakar. Image courtesy: Twitter/@mla_sudhakar

Sudhakar's stand is contrary to that of the Congress, which has joined other opposition parties in upping the ante on alleged EVM tampering or manipulation ahead of the counting of votes on Thursday.

The Congress MLA's remarks came a day after senior party lawmaker Roshan Baig unleashed a scathing attack on its state leadership, calling Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Dinesh Gundu Rao a "flop show" and party general secretary KC Venugopal a "buffoon".

Sudhakar, who had often been vocal in airing his grievances against the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in the southern state, tweeted on Tuesday night, saying EVM tampering and exit polls were two different things.

Later, talking to PTI, Sudhakar clarified that he had only said exit polls had nothing to do with EVM tampering. "I have only spoken about exit polls because some people have a difference of opinion on them. I said it had nothing to do with EVM tampering...because exit polls are conducted on the polling day," he said.

The Congress MLA added that exit polls were conducted by media houses and different professionals who went to the polling booths, spoke to the voters and determined their opinion. "Whatever opinion is built, becomes part of the exit polls," he said. "Sometimes they predict it right and sometimes they go wrong. So, how can you blame the EVMs for that?," he asked.

Locked in a battle with the Election Commission (EC) over the reliability of electronic voting machines (EVMs), the opposition pressed for their demand for increasing the tallying of the paper trail of votes (VVPATs) with EVM figures and submitted a memorandum to the poll panel in New Delhi on Tuesday.

In the memorandum, leaders of 22 opposition parties, including the Congress, demanded that the verification of VVPAT slips of five randomly-selected polling stations in an Assembly segment should be done prior to the initiation of counting of votes and not after the completion of last round of counting.

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Updated Date: May 22, 2019 16:53:30 IST