Omar in trouble for EVM comment
The Peoples’ Democratic Party has complained to the Chief Election Commissioner against Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s remark that allegedly misled voters at a rally on Tuesday. Arjun Sharma reports.india Updated: Apr 15, 2009 23:33 IST
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has complained to the Chief Election Commissioner against Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s remark that allegedly misled voters at a rally on Tuesday.
It was reported in a local daily on Wednesday that Abdullah said, addressing a public rally, that only the button with the hand symbol of the Congress in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) was functional.
He said the voters should only press that particular button for the Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha seat.
Provoked by these alleged comments by Abdullah, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti shot a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner on Wednesday, seeking action against the chief minister.
She said in the letter that the Chief Minister’s comments had created a perception among the people that the EVMs had already been programmed in favour of a particular party, and only the votes polled in favour of the Congress would be registered.
Abdullah’s political advisor Devender Singh Rana, however, described the statement that had appeared in newspapers as incorrect and misinterpreted. He said the remark was made in a lighter vein.
Singh explained that Abdullah meant to tell the gathering that as only the hand symbol had the power to bring changes in the state, people should vote for it.
The state Chief Electoral Officer, B.R. Sharma, said although the remark could actually have been made lightly, the commission was looking into the matter seriously. He said, “We will also see the recordings of the rally.”
However he refused to say what action would be taken if the comment was found to be true, assuring “some action would be taken”.