Election 2019

BJP to lose Lok Sabha polls unless it tampers EVMs: Tarun Gogoi

Guwahati | Veteran Congress leader Tarun Gogoi on Thursday claimed that the BJP has just one option to win this Lok Sabha election – that is tampering the EVMs, which the opposition parties are fearing.

Claiming that the saffron party will lose in Uttar Pradesh and other states in north and south India, the former Assam chief minister said the next government at the Centre will be formed with the support of the Congress.

“(Prime Minister) Narendra Modi’s days have come to an end. He is sure to go. They (the BJP) will lose unless they go for tampering of EVMs, that is what the opposition parties are suspecting,” Gogoi said at a press conference here.

The BJP will lose badly in Uttar Pradesh along with other places in north and south India, while the Congress will improve its tally in many states, including Assam, he claimed.

“Even (BJP national general secretary) Ram Madhav has also hinted that the BJP is losing,” Gogoi said.

Gogoi was referring to Madhav’s recent interview in which he had said the BJP will need the support of its allies to form the government at the Centre.

“We will get the highest number of seats among all the opposition parties. With our active support, a non-BJP government will be formed at the Centre,” he added.

On Modi’s frequent reference to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during election campaigns in the past few days, Gogoi said it is being done unnecessarily.

“The PM should have a level. What is the need to bring Rajiv Gandhi’s name here? He died 28 years ago and his name is being raked up for no reason,” the Congress leader said.

He wondered how Modi is claiming himself as the “most popular PM” of this country as his party had secured only 31 per cent votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

“Rajiv Gandhi had bagged 49 per cent vote and you say he was not popular! This is all about publicity and I accept that we are lagging behind in publicity. In politics, publicity is needed,” he added.

On the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the former chief minister during whose tenure the exercise began, alleged that the BJP government is not interested in bringing out an error-free document for its own political benefits.

“This final NRC will not be correct. It is going to be a wasteful exercise, because what the BJP wants is the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Both the documents cannot be implemented simultaneously,” he said expressing doubt over the efficacy of the NRC.

Assam, which had faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state to have an NRC, first prepared in 1951. Now it is being updated under the supervision of the Supreme Court.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill provided for according Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of residence in India instead of 12 years, which is the norm currently, even if they do not possess any document.

Gogoi said the BJP should have appealed to the Supreme Court to keep the NRC process on hold and implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

“The Government of India is playing a double game. It says one thing, but does just the other,” he alleged.

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