Fresh from a humiliating performance in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, BSP supremo Mayawati on Tuesday dared BJP to hold assembly elections in the state again, using paper ballots. Terming the poll results in Uttarakhand and UP “not a verdict of people but a verdict of EVMs”, she demanded a law to scrap the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in elections.
Raising the issue in Rajya Sabha, Mayawati sought for an immediate discussion on the issue citing her party has given a notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of business to take up the issue.
Mayawati has been raising the issue of EVMs ever since the results of assembly polls held in five states.
On March 11, even as BJP was racing ahead towards a stupendous victory in UP, the BSP chief has blamed the EVMs for the crushing defeat of her party. BJP has scored 312 seats out of 403 seats, while her party scored dismal 19 and SP-Congress combine folded under 60 seats.
“When Congress was in power, senior BJP leaders had expressed apprehensions on the use of EVMs saying free and fair elections cannot happen using the EVMs,” she said.
“Now that BJP is in government, they are now justifying EVMs,” Mayawti said, adding that several countries across the world use paper ballot for casting votes. She also went on to allege that votes cast in her party’s favour were credited to BJP by faulty or tampered EVMs.
“If your conscience is so clear, why not call for elections (again) using paper ballot,” she said amid slogan shouting by treasury benches to counter her.
Responding to her charge Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi accused her of showing disrespect to the people’s mandate.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said he was not allowing the notice as a short duration discussion on electoral reforms is scheduled on Wednesday and these points could be raise then.
Mayawati however persisted with her point for some time but took her seat after Kurien insisted on not allowing her notice.
Earlier, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had refuted her allegations of tampering with the EVMs and termed the process of elections through the voting machines as absolutely foolproof.
(With inputs from the PTI)