|Early Times Report|
JAMMU, Jan 20: NC president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said many things in Kolkata during the Bengal CM Mamata Bannerjee-sponsored Mahagathbandhan rally. He attacked BJP, like other opposition leaders, and blamed the Narendra Modi Government for the prevailing political situation in the Kashmir Valley. And like all other opposition leaders, he also urged everyone to defeat PM Narendra Modi. Defeat Narendra Modi and BJP was his message.
Over enthusiastic Farooq Abdullah also made a very interesting comment. He termed the Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) "chor machines".
"The EVM is chor machine. Honestly speaking, it is so. Its use must be put to an end. Nowhere in the world is the machine used. The opposition parties should approach the Election Commission and the President of India to stop the use of the EVM and bring back the old ballot papers for the sake of transparency," he, inter-alia, said.
Clearly, Farooq Abdullah forgot that he himself was returned to Lok Sabha in April 2017 by the same EVM. He had won the Srinagar LS by-poll by a slender margin of 10,700 votes. Abdullah had polled around 48,554 votes against the then ruling PDP candidate, Nazir Khan, who got 37,779 votes. The polling for the seat was held on April 9 amid large-scale violence that left eight persons dead and several dozen others injured. The constituency had recorded an abysmal 7.13 per cent voter turnout, the lowest ever in its history. The Election Commission had ordered re-polling in 38 polling stations in violence-hit areas on April 13.
It was for the third time that Farooq Abdullah was elected to the Lok Sabha and his victory was seen as a major setback for the then ruling PDP. He was earlier elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1980 and 2009.