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Mayawati seeks polls with ballot papers

The BSP chief said the 'latest revelations' about EVM hacking 'has put the BJP in the dock'

By Our Special Correspondent in Lucknow

  • Published 23.01.19, 4:24 AM
  • Updated 23.01.19, 9:41 AM
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati The Telegraph file picture

Mayawati has demanded that the Election Commission of India conduct the Lok Sabha elections through ballot papers because the people of the country are doubting the genuineness of electronic voting machines (EVMs).

“The Bahujan Samaj Party was the first to point out the loot of votes and murder of democracy by the BJP (with the help of EVMs). We have also moved a petition in the Supreme Court. Later, all the other Opposition parties realised that EVMs were being used for rigging and raised the demand for elections through ballot papers,” the BSP chief said on Tuesday.

“A cyber expert has said at a media conference in London that EVMs were hacked (for the) 2014 Lok Sabha (polls). That has indicated a deep conspiracy. Now is the time (for the political parties) to focus on this issue and clear the doubts from the minds of the people,” Mayawati said.

A man who identified himself as Syed Shuja and claimed to be a former designer of India’s EVMs alleged in London on Monday that the machines had been hacked to rig the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. On Tuesday, the Election Commission lodged an FIR against Shuja.

Mayawati said the “latest revelations” about the EVM “has put the BJP in the dock”.

“But we cannot expect any positive response from the rigid and arrogant BJP and the central government,” the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said. She claimed that the people of India were “suspicious and terrorised as they are thinking that their votes are no longer in their control”.

Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi party, which will fight the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the BSP, also spoke out against EVMs and demanded a return to ballot papers.

“We need to think why a developed country like Japan doesn’t use EVMs in elections. It is not an issue of the political parties, it is an issue of trust in a democracy,” Akhilesh said.

He echoed Mayawati’s demand that the poll panel conduct the general election through ballot papers.

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