The other day, Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary P Muralidhar Rao sounded a warning to the party cadres in Andhra Pradesh not to underestimate Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
A seasoned and shrewd politician that he is, Naidu is one leader who can smell the opposition’s strategies and take quick remedial measures, he said.
Perhaps, Naidu has smelt the strategies of the BJP in Andhra Pradesh for the forthcoming assembly elections in the state.
In the recent Karnataka elections, there were allegations that the BJP had tampered with the electronic voting machines (EVMs) at several places, where the Congress candidates were strong and managed to win those seats.
Earlier, in Gujarat, too, the BJP allegedly resorted to the same trick to retain power.
Since the BJP is hell-bent on defeating the TDP at any cost in the 2019 elections, Naidu is suspecting that it might resort to tampering of the EVMs in key constituencies so that the TDP loses the elections in these seats even with a lesser margin.
That is precisely why Naidu gave a lengthy lecture to his party leaders at the coordination committee meeting held in Vijayawada on Tuesday.
He asked them to be extremely careful as the election authorities, who would be under direct control of the Centre, would supply tampered EVMs.
“The central government has kept all systems including Election Commission under its control. There is a possibility of misusing the EVMs. Party leaders should undertake double check before the polling. It is very easy to tamper with electronic gadgets and the possibilities of misusing EVMs are very much there,” he said.
While ensuring usage of fool-proof EVMs, Naidu also asked the party leaders to hold a nation-wide debate in favour of ballot paper model.
“Almost all the opposition parties have these apprehensions. It is time we should bring pressure on the EC to do away with the EVMs,” Naidu said.