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Madhya Pradesh Congress’ EVM plan: 384 candidates in a constituency, but who will fund them?

With 384 candidates contesting in a constituency, the ECI will be forced to hold a paper ballot, say Digvijaya Singh and Bhupesh Baghel



Case for 384 candidates

By Neeraj Mishra

Two former Congress chief ministers from Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have been propagating that at least 384 candidates should file nominations in their respective constituencies. The reason: Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) can’t accommodate that many names so the Election Commission will be forced to hold elections on ballot paper. Digvijaya Singh and his protégé Bhupesh Baghel—both forced to leave office under controversial circumstances —have come up with this “foolproof” plan to win elections.

The BJP, it seems, is preparing alternative plans to pack as many Baghels and Digvijayas as possible in their respective constituencies to foil their plans and create confusion.

Digvijaya Singh is contesting from Rajgarh after 33 years. He says: “The only way to beat the current EVM system is to have a long candidate list. If 384 people file nomination, then BJP can be defeated.” He has never lost from Rajgarh which is his home turf and is unlikely to lose this time either but he just wants to make doubly sure or at least kick up a controversy about the EVMs and make his constituents aware.

Baghel, on the other hand, has shifted from his home base of Durg to neighbouring Rajnandgaon. He also propagates the same theory. He is of the view that the BJP manages to fix at least 20 per cent of the EVMs in every constituency so the margins of victory have been huge where it is strong and thin where its management goes wrong and it loses.

The idea of dozens of candidates has emanated from Maharashtra where the Kisan Morcha has similar plans. It has announced that dozens of farmers will file nomination papers in the entire sugar belt and win or lose it will at least spoil the BJP plans with the EVM.

The main hurdle in the Digvijaya-Baghel plan is money. Till 1992, the security amount used to be Rs 1,500 so any number of candidates would contest as Independents. Some just for the fun of campaigning. TN Seshan put a stop to this by raising the security deposit to Rs 25,000. Not only has the number of frivolous candidates reduced but an overall number has come down so drastically that all names can be accommodated in one EVM machine. Thus, if 384 nominations are actually filed then it would accrue at least Rs 96 lakh in each constituency for the Election Commission of India (ECI). If Baghel and Digvijaya sponsor these nominations, then they will have to shell out that amount.

The ECI has said nothing so far on the issue but it would be interesting to see what it does in case a large number of nominations are filed.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi slams Rahul Gandhi, Lalu Yadav for eating mutton during holy month of Sawan, compares them to Mughals

PM Modi even compared them with the Mughals and accused them of trying to tease the people of the country.



Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday made a scathing attack on senior Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and RJD leader Lalu Yadav for allegedly eating mutton during the holy month of Sawan last year. He claimed that they do not care about the sentiments of the majority of people of the country. PM Modi even compared them with the Mughals and accused them of trying to tease the people of the country.

PM Modi was referring to a viral video which was released in September last year in which senior Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and RJD leader Lalu Yadav were seen cooking mutton together. PM Modi was speaking at an election rally in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur.

He said the opposition and INDI alliance do not care about the sentiments of the majority of the people of the India. He added Congress party enjoys playing with the sentiments of the people.

Talking about RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, PM Modi said a person who has been sentenced by the court and who is on bail – Rahul Gandhi visited the house of such a criminal and enjoys cooking mutton in the month of Sawan and a video was also made to tease the people of the country.  The Prime Minister claimed the intention of INDI alliance is to tease the people of the country and he even compared them with the Mughals.

PM Modi said the law does not stop anyone from eating anything but the intentions of these people are something else. He cited the example of the Mughals and said that when they attacked here, they were not satisfied until they demolished the temples. So just like Mughals, the Congress wants to tease the people of the country by showing the video in the month of Sawan.

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Akhilesh Yadav condemns deployment of cops in priests attire at Kashi temple

While the female policemen were wearing a ‘salwar kurta’, the male policemen were in a ‘dhoti-kurta’.



Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has condemned the deployment of police officers dressed as priests at the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. The Samajwadi Party (SP) chief demanded the suspension of the officers and wondered who ordered to deployment of cops in such attire.   

On the orders of Varanasi Police Commissioner Mohit Agarwal, the male and female policemen have been deployed in the temple in the priests’ attire. While the female policemen were wearing a ‘salwar kurta’, the male policemen were in a ‘dhoti-kurta’.

Yadav questioned the system in UP and asked according to which police manual is it correct for policemen to be dressed as priests. Those who give such orders should be suspended, he added. If tomorrow any ‘thag’ (fraudster) takes advantage of this and loots the innocent public, then what will the UP government and administration answer, he further asked. He called it Condemnable in a post on X.

Police Commissioner Agarwal had earlier told reporters that people who come from far away places to have obeisance have regard for the priests and they often get hurt if they are pushed forward by the policemen.

The duty in the temple is different from other places as police have to manage different types of crowds here. The crowd here is not for creating law and order problems. The police are here to ensure easy darshan to people and help and guide them, the police officer said.

He added the devotees get hurt if being pushed by policemen, if the same thing is done by priests they take it in a positive way. Following the no-touch policy, policemen are being deployed in priests’ attire.

The Samajwadi Party had earlier announced its candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav will be contesting from her existing seat in Mainpuri.

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Omar Abdullah to contest from Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency

Firebrand Shia leader Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi would contest from central Kashmir’s Srinagar constituency, which has been an NC bastion.



Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah will contest election from the Baramulla constituency in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the party announced on Friday.

National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah, while speaking to reporters, said that Omar Abdullah is the party’s candidate from north Kashmir’s Baramulla Lok Sabha seat.

The National Conference president also informed that the firebrand Shia leader Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi would contest from central Kashmir’s Srinagar constituency, which has been an NC bastion.

On contesting the General election from Baramulla, Omar said that it’s a challenge, every election is a challenge but it’s a challenge that he is looking forward to. As he said earlier, his fight is not against an individual, it is against the skullduggery, treachery, the political machinations of the BJP, he asserted.

The former Chief Minister said the way in which BJP is trying to create alternatives to parties like the National Conference, the way in which they are conspiring to try and bring their associate parties together on one stage and therefore he sees this as an opportunity to take the fight directly to the BJP and to the Centre, he added.

Speaking to a reporter, he said that this time, his fight is not against any individual. In North Kashmir, his fight is not against any candidate instead his fight is with those powers which are behind that candidate. It has been decided that he will be contesting from North Kashmir because BJP is focusing a lot on North Kashmir, Omar added. He said he wants that these powers should be defeated in North Kashmir.

Regarding the BJP, the NC leader wondered if what PM Modi is saying is correct then why are his candidates not in the field? Why is the BJP not contesting South, Central and North Kashmir, he asked.

On being asked if he would leave politics if the BJP wins a single seat, he said to let the BJP announce their candidates. He will also see if they are able to get a single seat in J&K or not, he said while speaking to a reporter.

According to the Election Commission of India, polling in Baramulla will be held on May 20.

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