Indian PM Narendra Modi with BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, LK Advani and Amit Shah at their party's executive meet in Odisha's Bhubaneswar. Photograph: (Twitter)
Questioning the integrity of EVMs amounted to openly disrespecting the Election Commission, Amit Shah said at the national executive meet
Opposition parties blaming electronic voting machines (EVMs) for their poll loss underlines their desperation and lack of issues against the BJP, its national president Amit Shah said Saturday, noting that EVMs were never questioned when they won.
Questioning the integrity of electronic voting machines (EVMs) amounted to openly disrespecting the Election Commission, he said in his inaugural address at the two-day national executive meet of the BJP here.
"Opposition parties are in desperation following our win. They have no issue against us. They are not admitting their defeat and instead blaming EVMs," he said.
Shah wondered if the UPA had not won in 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha polls when EVMs were used or if the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP had swept the Delhi assembly polls in 2015 due to use of ballot papers.
The BJP chief also referred to the Congress's victory in the Punjab assembly polls to make his point.
Briefing reporters on Shah's speech, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Election Commission has already come out with an open hacking challenge and let people know if Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal, who has alleged EVM tempering, was a "hacking expert".
He said all elections since 1998 were held with the use of EVMs.
Asked about a book written by BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao who had questioned the reliability of EVMs, Prasad said his book is not the official view of his party and it was written long back when the UPA was in power.
Asked about BSP chief Mayawati's assertion that she would join hands with other parties to take on the BJP, Prasad said the country's politics has changed and even if all parties came together they would not be able to defeat the saffron party.
"If you analyse the UP election, the BJP would have even if other parties were together," Prasad said.
Shah in his address also referred to the Shunglu Committee report, which has indicted the Kejriwal government on alleged corruption charges, and said there cannot be a bigger example of lack of probity.
He exhorted party leaders to work to realise the Modi government's dream of a 'New India'.
The central government has also given Padma awards for the first time to many little-known people doing good work in different field and made selection process transparent, he said, while also lauding it for the passage of the GST bills.
The chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Manipur Yogi Adityanath, Trivendra Singh Rawat and Biren Singh, respectively attended their first national executive since assuming their new roles.
They were congratulated by party leaders and workers for their new assignment, especially, Adityanatha, the fiery Hindutva mascot, for taking charge of the politically crucial and country's most populous state.