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Faleiro wary of EVMs

- AICC general secretary says he prefers ballot paper

Shillong, April 3: All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge Northeast, Luizinho Faleiro today expressed cynicism about the accuracy of electronic voting machines (EVM) and said personally, he preferred ballot paper to the voting machine.

Faleiro’s comment came after a glitch in the EVM was detected during a mock poll conducted in Upper Assam deputy commissioner’s office in Jorhat district.

It was found that when the button with the Congress symbol was pressed on one EVM, the vote went in favour of the BJP.

Speaking to reporters here, Faleiro said, “Personally, I believe that ballot paper is the best.”

The AICC leader was in Shillong to campaign for Congress nominee Vincent H. Pala, who is seeking re-election for the second time from Shillong parliamentary constituency.

Faleiro said his party would discuss and take up the matter with the authorities concerned. “Don’t accept the Gujarat model,” he said.

Attacking the Opposition in Meghalaya for supporting BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Faleiro said the people of Meghalaya should discard the Opposition’s wish to impose the “Gujarat model” in the state.

“You have got a distinct identity and culture called “Meghalaya model” which is peace and tranquillity. But the opposition wanted to impose Gujarat model which is a rot called Godhra riot, social disharmony, divisive and fragmentation of the country,” Faleiro said.

The Congress general secretary also held Modi responsible for the killing thousands of people in the Gujarat riots.

“How can a man responsible for killing many people, be the Prime Minister?” he questioned and claimed that the BJP-led government in Gujarat has finished off the farmers only to help a few rich people. .

Claiming that the people of the Northeast believed in the Congress and showed their support, the AICC leader cited the case of Arunachal Pradesh where 11 Congress candidates have been elected unopposed in the Assembly polls and appealed to the people of Meghalaya to vote for party candidates from Shillong and Tura parliamentary constituencies.

The Congress is fielding Daryl William Cheran Momin from Tura who is pitted against former Lok Sabha speaker Purno A. Sangma of the National People’s Party (NPP).

“Earlier, the people of the state were crying for Shillong bypass, four-lane Shillong-Nongstoiñ-Tura road. These projects materialised in these five years because of the efforts taken by Pala along with the state government,” Faleiro said.

He also assured that the Congress is behind Pala and urged the people to vote for him in this election.

“I don’t know the agenda of other candidates. If they are elected, by the time they go to Delhi to study their roles, their term will be over,” he said.

Regarding the internal feud in the party where some Congress legislators reportedly refused to support Pala, Faleiro said, “Congress is a democratic party and when it comes to elections, all are united and ensure that we work together.”

“There will not be differences in future because everyone understood the importance of this election and everyone has to fall in line with the party,” Faleiro asserted.

While lambasting the former Lok Sabha Speaker, Faleiro appealed to the people to vote for Daryl. “We are fielding young people because India is young, where 65 per cent of the population is below 35 years. We have had many MPs but what’s their contribution?” he asked.

On the deteriorating law and order situation in the Garo hills region, which has witnessed the emergence of various militant groups, Faleiro said Manipur too faced such a situation.

“Chief minister Mukul Sangma as well as the home ministry are looking into the matter ,” he said.


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