As the chances of BJP’s victory looked brighter by noon, scores of mediapersons gathered outside the residence of Hardik Patel, seeking the reaction of the 23-year-old Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader. He finally appeared at 3.30 pm, after it was almost certain that the BJP would get the numbers to form the government again.
Alleging that the BJP win was because of EVM tampering, Hardik said, “I will not congratulate the BJP for their victory because it is due to cheating. The people of Gujarat have been awakened but they will have to do more. EVMs have been tampered with and this is a reality,” he said.
Expressing surprise at the defeat of the Congress in Patidar-dominated areas like Surat, Rajkot and Ahmedabad, he alleged it was due to EVM tampering. “Poora mahaul banaya gaya tha EVM tampering ke liye (an atmosphere was created for EVM tampering),” he said. He added that all opposition parties should take up the issue and start a movement against EVMs. “I urge all opposition parties to take this concern against EVMs forward. If ATMs can be hacked, why can’t EVMs? Why don’t other nations use machines for elections,” said Hardik.
Asked if he would congratulate the BJP, he said, “I congratulate the BJP for winning elections by EVM tampering and playing dirty tricks. The people of Gujarat had taken a decision (to uproot the BJP), but the ruling party won through money power and EVM tampering.” He also alleged that an Ahmedabad-based firm was involved in hacking the source code of 5,000 EVMs with the help of 140 software engineers.
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