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EVM manipulation? Only circumstantial, but no direct evidence exists: Congress leader

Counterview Desk
In an open address to his party colleagues, Congress leader Salman Khurshid, senior Supreme Court advocate and former foreign minister, has said that at a time when “honest views” of the party are being “maligned” by suggesting that the party lacks “patriotism and religious impartiality”, it would be “less than fair” to claim that the party has not been “forced” to retreat from its “outspoken defence of freedom and right to equal protection and concern for every democratic view.”
Saying that there is “strategic adjustments to preserve ideological purity in the face of devious attacks are morally permissible, indeed imperative”, he insists in a Facebook post, “But we cannot allow our collective conscience to be confused. Worse than defeat is surrender. The space that we continue to occupy (12 crore votes) must not be vacated for a less deserving alternative.”

Text:

Our leaders, particularly Shri Rahul Gandhi, have felt deep personal disappointment in the election results. Those of us who owe allegiance and emotional attachment to them (count in lakhs) have additional distress to see them so traumatised. Silence and forbearance is the best attitude in such situations. But many colleagues have chosen to speak. In the circumstances silence can be misjudged. I have therefore chosen to depart from holding my peace.
When things go wrong as they have, there is inevitably something that needs to be done. Reinventing and change sound good and reassuring but we need to be sure we know from what and why before looking at how and where. It is a tricky question but a pertinent one: have we ceased to be the Congress we were or are we too much of the original Congress when the world around us has changed.
Furthermore, we must not make the mistake of becoming something we have opposed all along and indeed considered it to be our raison detre. Put simply let us not endeavour to survive if we have no real reason to live; makes little sense to be a theatre character looking for a script. Congress must live because it has an ideology that must not die.
Our current dilemma seems to be that our unique and wholesome ideology has been viciously attacked and undermined by our adversaries having twisted it and misinterpreted it to the people. Our honest views have been maligned for alleged lack of patriotism and religious impartiality. It will be less than fair to claim that we have not suffered self-consciousness that forced us to retreat from our outspoken defence of freedom and right to equal protection and concern for every democratic view.
The space that we continue to occupy (12 crore votes) must not be vacated for a less deserving alternative
On the other hand, the distinction between ideology and strategy should not be overlooked. Strategic adjustments to preserve ideological purity in the face of devious attacks are morally permissible, indeed imperative. But we cannot allow our collective conscience to be confused. Worse than defeat is surrender. The space that we continue to occupy (12 crore votes) must not be vacated for a less deserving alternative. 
People in the party are proclaiming instant formulae for fixing the damage we have suffered. Pardon my disagreement with instant solutions which seem to be like shooting in the dark. My ground reading does not validate the extent of the mandate although it gives some idea of our appeals having fallen on deaf ears.
Have we all not been puzzled by the universal lack of celebration of the victory in public spaces? Are the people equally puzzled? Dare we look at the EVM doubts with determination to settle the issue one way or other? There is after all much by way of circumstantial evidence, though no direct evidence. If this was the only matter under the shadow of doubt we could have moved on.
But there is so much more nibbling away, nay gorging on our democracy that each barricade of resistance is a matter of life and death for the Idea of India. Without meaning to be arrogant (something we are accused of often) the Congress too is part of that Idea. It matters not which one of us will live to see the Idea prevail but enough will be the honour to have fought for it. Citadels oppression and hate crumble when the warriors of truth and non-violence march to the tune of Mahatma Gandhi.
Let us remain united, together, with faith in ourselves.

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