Gujarat elections 2017: Congress wants ballot papers in future polls, plans stir

Blaming Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for his party’s loss in the recently concluded assembly elections, Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki said that his party would press for use of ballot papers in future elections.

“Congress suffered due to use of EVMs in the elections. We are pressing for use of ballot papers in the future, and will start a ‘Back to Ballot’ movement,” Solanki told reporters after the conclusion of the party’s two-day Chintan Shibir to analyze its performance in the assembly polls.

The Congress put up a good fight, and won 80 seats along with its allies, its best performance in the state in the past many elections. The BJP won but its tally was restricted to 99. Congress has blamed widespread tampering with EVMs as the reason for its loss. The party also alleged misuse of government machinery by the ruling party.

Asked if Congress would move court for counting of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) paper slips, Solanki said, “The party will not go to court, but our candidates will do that on their own.”

During the party’s review meeting on Thursday, representatives from Surat Congress attributed the poor performance in the city to change of candidates. They also discussed reasons why the party could not get Patidar votes.

The party officials attributed loss of senior leaders Shaktisinh Gohil from Mandvi in Kutch, and Tushar Chaudhary from Mahuva in Surat, to inactivity on the part of local workers and leaders.

Solanki said that party workers and leaders have been asked to start preparing for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.