Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Tuesday described AAP’s complaint regarding “removal of EVMs” in Nabha on Monday as “excessive paranoia” and said the “frivolous complaint” indicated that the party is preparing ground to “save face” following the announcement of poll results. “The excessive display of paranoia by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), right from its top leadership to the lowest cadres, has assumed ludicrous proportions and indicates the complete demoralisation in the party in the face of imminent defeat in the recently concluded assembly elections,” Amarinder said in a statement here.
With AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal leading the way, “every Tom, Dick and Harry” in the party is running to the Election Commission (EC) with one or the other “frivolous” complaint, clear indicating that the party is preparing ground to “save face” following the declaration of the results, said the Congress chief ministerial candidate.
Smelling foul play, AAP’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Monday alleged that some Punjab officials were trying to remove Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) that were kept in a college building at Nabha in Patiala.
However, the district administration claimed that “nothing should be doubted” as the EVMs lying on the premises were the reserve machines for the already held 2015 municipal polls in the state.
Amarinder demanded that, as in the case of the judiciary, there should be some provision in the EC rules to penalise political parties and candidates found indulging in unsubstantiated complaints and petitions, and engaging the EC in “cheap gimmickry” to further their “vested interests”.
Amarinder also lambasted Kejriwal and his party for dragging the EC into an “ugly quagmire” of allegations and counter-allegations.
“This is not a healthy sign and reflects on the immaturity, and worse still, on the despicable thinking and lack of ideology in AAP,” alleged Amarinder.
The Congress, being the main opposition party in Punjab had much more at stake than AAP in these elections, Amarinder said. Yet, the Congress was not raising such “ruckus” on the security of EVMs as was being done by AAP, he observed, adding that the entire “drama” was evidently being enacted by “Kejriwal and his cronies” to justify their eventual “electoral defeat”, which would be officially declared on March 11.
The uproar triggered by AAP over the removal of some old EVMs in Patiala was the latest “piece of theatrics” staged by Kejriwal’s party to pave the ground for raising suspicions about the accuracy of the EVMs and the bona fide of the results, when they are announced on March 11, said Amarinder.
The Punjab Congress chief urged Kejriwal to accept his party’s “defeat” gracefully and not lower the dignity of prestigious institutions like the EC to cover up his own “desperation”.