After UP civic poll loss, Oppn cries EVM wolf
Lucknow: A day after the BJP swept the Uttar Pradesh civic polls, Opposition parties on Saturday demanded that all elections in the future be held through ballot papers instead of electronic voting machines (EVMs). BSP chief Mayawati, who had in March raised doubts over EVMs after the Assembly elections, threw an open challenge to the BJP to hold the 2019 Lok Sabha polls using ballot papers.
Samajwadi Party (SP) spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary alleged that the BJP again misused EVMs to win 14 mayoral contests and reiterated the demand that ballot paper be used in the future elections. SP national president Akhilesh Yadav tweeted: "BJP has only won 15 per cent seats in Ballot paper areas and 46 per cent in EVM areas."
Though the BSP managed to bag two mayoral seats — Aligarh and Meerut — the SP and the Congress drew a blank. The BJP won 14 of the total 16 mayoral seats. Earlier in the morning, Mayawati said "with full confidence" that the saffron party would be defeated in the general elections due in 2019 if ballot papers were used in place of EVMs.
"If the BJP claims that they enjoy the mandate of the people and the entire country is with them, then they should set aside EVMs and hold elections through ballot paper. And, I can say with full confidence that if the 2019 Lok Sabha polls are held using ballot paper, they (the BJP) will not come to power," Mayawati claimed.
"We fought the urban local body polls in Uttar Pradesh on party symbol and I am happy to say that along with the Dalits, people belonging to backward castes, upper castes and minorities, especially Muslims, also voted for us in large numbers," she claimed. Mayawati alleged that the government machinery was "misused" in the urban local body polls. "Otherwise, more of our candidates would have become mayors in the state...and we would have won more seats," she said.
Rajendra Chaudhary also slammed the BJP for "misusing official machinery" and alleged the party misinformed the masses about its victory in the elections.