Taking a swipe at the BJP-led NDA amid polling in Phase 2 of the Lok Sabha elections, late former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s son and Congress leader, Anil Shastri, said on Friday the people have built in a narrative in their minds that the ruling party at the Centre will change the Constitution if voted for a third term.
Speaking to media persons after casting his vote on Friday, Anil Shastri said it was because of the fear in people’s minds that the salient statute book of the country could be up for change if the BJP is voted again, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was clarifying to the people that there is no such thing in the offing.
“The major issues before the people today are unemployment and farmer’s woes. The BJP has created this paranoia among the people that the Constitution could be altered if they are elected for a third time. The people have built a narrative in their minds that this will happen. This is what has prompted the PM to go around the country and clarify that no such change is in the offing,” the former PM’s son said.
He added that the present times are markedly different from those of his father, as the esteem that was once associated with politics has declined significantly.
“I can sense a decline in enthusiasm among voters this time. The present day and age are markedly different from my father’s time. Today, values around politics are on the decline and it is no longer held in the same esteem as it was once was. The level of political discourse has stopped to a level that now, leaders don’t hesitate to bad-mouth or hurl abuses at each other. It makes me sad to see what politics has come to today. However, there is an undercurrent for change. For the first time, I saw the Election Commission not issuing voter slips this time. I would want this issue to be addressed,” the Congress leader added.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected petitions seeking 100 per cent verification of votes cast on Electronic Voting Machines with paper slips generated through the VVPAT method.
The apex court also rejected the prayers of petitioners to return to voting by the ballot.
The apex court issued two directions– after the completion of the symbol loading process, the Symbol Loading Unit (SLU) should be sealed and they should be stored at least for a period of 45 days.
Secondly, there will be an option for candidates to get the microcontroller program of EVMs to be checked by a team of engineers after the declaration of results, such a request is to be made by the candidate within seven days after the declaration of results. (ANI)