Now, Jagan calls for switch to paper ballots from EVMs; TDP terms remarks hypocritical

Condemning the former CM’s remarks, BJP State official spokesperson Sadineni Yamini Sharma said Jagan is speaking in an immature manner after losing power.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan ReddyFile photo | Express

VIJAYAWADA: YSRC president and former chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday said Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) should be replaced with ballot papers in elections.

Jagan’s remarks come days after Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk called for the elimination of EVMs while responding to reports of irregularities during polling in Puerto Rico. Musk’s tweet set off a fresh row on EVMs in India with politicians from across the country indulging in a war of words.

In a post on X, Jagan said, “Just as justice should not only be served, but should also appear to have been served, so should democracy not only prevail, but must appear to be prevalent undoubtedly. In electoral practices across the world in almost every advanced democracy, paper ballots are used, not EVMs. We too must move towards the same in upholding the true spirit of our democracy.”

It may be pointed out that the YSRC suffered a poll debacle in the recently-concluded elections as it could secure only 11 of the total 175 Assembly and four of the 25 Parliament seats. The former chief minister’s comments drew sharp criticism from the ruling TDP, with leaders quickly reposting a video from 2019 when Jagan spoke in favour of the EVMs.

Taking to X, TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh lashed out at Jagan and asked him to accept the fact that the people have rejected the YSRC.

Jagan is speaking like Elon Musk of Andhra, mocks Somireddy

Lokesh tweeted, “Let’s face it @ysjagan, you’re allergic to democracy. You systematically destroyed institutions, systems and practices devoted to protecting people’s rights. You struck down in one stroke what the people of AP built collectively over the years. When you won in 2019, EVMs worked beautifully. When you lose in 2024, you blame the EVMs. Such hypocrisy. Perhaps you should reflect on your failed tenure and accept that people have rejected you outright,” Lokesh posted.

Lokesh also “After casting the vote, an individual can check the VVPAT slip to confirm if their vote was cast to the right person and party. A voter leaves the polling booth only after he is satisfied,” Jagan had said. He had questioned that if the individual’s vote goes to ‘Cycle’ even if he had voted for another party, why would he remain silent.

Condemning the former CM’s remarks, BJP State official spokesperson Sadineni Yamini Sharma said Jagan is speaking in an immature manner after losing power.

“He is very well aware of the fact that his party does not have any future. What the Congress is saying at the national level, the YSRC is parroting in the State. Jagan failed to gain trust of the people of the State and is now playing dramas which no one is going to believe,” Sharma quipped.

Responding to Jagan’s tweet, TDP senior leader and MLA Somireddy Chandra Mohan Reddy said Jagan is yet to recover from the shock he suffered in the elections. “Jagan is speaking like Elon Musk of AP,” he mocked. When he won the 2019 elections, he took credit for the victory, but he is now finding fault with EVMs after losing,” the politician added.

Further, Lokesh lambasted Jagan for “using the furniture bought with funds of the exchequer for his personal use”. “BTW, when are you returning the furniture? And why did you spend `560 crore meant for the poor, to build Rishikonda palace for yourself? The people of Andhra Pradesh want answers,” he tweeted.

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