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An interview with senior Congressman Sanjay Nirupam on his allegations of EVM tampering, Congress' defeat
Sanjay Nirupam, who is known as a peoples man or the man of the masses, has served two terms as a nominated MP of the Rajya Sabha. First as a Shiv Sena member and then as a Congress party member. He was representing North Mumbai as an elected Congress member in the Lok Sabha.

In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Nirupam again fought from the Mumbai North constituency, but this time he faced defeat with a huge margin of 4.5 lakh votes. Stunned from such a huge margin of loss, Nirupam has accused BJP of manipulating EVMs.

We talked to Sanjay Nirupam on his allegations regarding EVMs and some other aspects like the Congress's defeat, the new leadership etc. Here are the excerpts of the interview.

Question (Q): Why do you think EVMs were faulty?

Sanjay NirupamSanjay Nirupam (SN): There are many evidences in the net, which says that EVMs can be tempered. The thing which I am saying today, is already told by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. He went to Supreme Court, and SC ordered to give a paper trial along with the EVMs, but in this election paper trial was not their. I agree that their was a wave against the Congress party and their was a positive wave for Modi, but it was not such a strong wave, that we will be loosing with such a huge margin, it is not possible. There are so many proofs, in my constituency, there are people who personally have given a commitment that, they are going to vote for me. And in those areas, minimum 200-300 votes are expected, but I got only 20-30 votes which is not possible. That is why, I made an allegation that, this is nothing but tampering with EVMs and it can be done, it is possible technically.

Q: As you are thinking to file a PIL, by when can we expect the PIL from your side?

SN: I am in the process of filing it, and it will take some time.

Q: Why BJP failed to replicate the success in Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Orissa, because if EVM can be tampered with in your case, the same could have been done in other states also?

SN: As far as my knowledge is concerned, there are different workshops or servicing centers for EVMs throughout our country, like one center for the Eastern India, one for Southern India, one for Northern India and another for western area. There may be two to three centers in one zone. So, they were able to get in touch with some zones, like UP, Bihar, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajesthan, MP, Gujarat etc. To the best of my knowledge, there is a servicing center in Gujarat, which is controlled by one of BJP MP's son. All the EVMs used in Gujarat comes from that servicing center. When I got into this whole detail, I came to know that when these machines are serviced, during that process they are changing some Micro-controlling chip and through that chip anybody can re-adjust the number of votes. I think, most probably they (BJP) could not get any contact in southern India, they could not get any contact in Eastern India (to tamper with EVMs).

Q: Even if we agree that the EVMs were tampered with, isn't it a Congress ground level failure to preempt it and prevent this issue?

SN: EVM's are not controlled by any government, they are not kept in the godowns of any mantralay or sachivalay. So, EVM tampering business is not done by the party workers. In one Lok Sabha constituency there are 1600 EVMs and BJP has announced that they will be getting 300 seats, that means, there they are working on 300 seats. The EVM tampering business is controlled by very limited people, sitting somewhere else. Through the servicing centers, contractors or agencies these kind of works are made to be done, it is not basically the party work. That is why most of the political workers and leaders don't believe that EVMs can be tampered with. When Bush was the president of the US, he did all these things, then eventually American administration banned EVMs. Japan is a country which produced maximum EVMs, but they don't use EVM for the electoral process in there country. So, why our government or our Election Commission should depend on EVMs. It is anti-democratic and unconstitutional.

Q: People are also seeing your allegations as an excuse behind your defeat? How would you like to convince them?

SN: Anybody should be ready to accept his or her defeat politely, and I accept my defeat. I am the one MP in this country, who worked very hard for his constituency. I was always available and accessible to the people. If I have lost by such a huge margin, it is next to impossible. It is not just an excuse, I have accepted my defeat and in this situation also I am going to work for my people. But my point is, this kind of huge margin of loss is unnatural, that is why I am making allegations.

Q: What are the reasons, you think are responsible for such a huge defeat of the congress?

SN: First and the foremost reason is EVM tampering. Then it is our functioning in the government, we have done some mistakes and I do accept this. Price rise and corruption issue. And the way BJP handled its campaign was superb and our campaign was not well managed. And I do accept all these things, but in-spite of that this kind of defeat was unexpected.

Q: Do you think that the time has come when the Congress party should look for a new leadership?

SN: As far as the leadership issue is concerned that is going to be sorted out in the forum of party and we cannot discuss it publicly. Congress party is going to analyze the reasons behind this defeat and after analyzing it, we will be back. Very soon we will be back.

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