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After Mayawati, Akhilesh questions BJP’s performance with ballot papers | India News

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NEW DELHI: SP president Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday joined forces with BSP supremo Mayawati to question the credibility of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

Hours after Mayawati raised the issue of conducting elections on ballot paper, Akhilesh took to Twitter and shared certain data from the Uttar Pradesh civic polls to show that the saffron party had fared well only in areas where EVMs were used.

“BJP has only won 15 per cent seats in Ballot paper areas and 46 per cent in EVM areas,” Akhilesh said in a tweet, without attributing the source of this data.

Earlier in the day, Mayawati had challenged the BJP and said the saffron party would lose the general elections due in 2019 if ballot papers are used instead 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 the EVMs and hold the elections through ballot paper. And, I can say with full confidence that if the 2019 Lok Sabha polls are held by ballot paper, (the BJP) will not come to power,” she was quoted as saying by PTI.

Mayawati’s remarks came a day after her party came second to the BJP in the civic body polls held in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP won 14 out of the 16 mayoral seats in the state. The rest were won by the BSP. On the other hand, Akhilesh Yadav’s SP failed to win a single mayoral seat, while the Congress was routed in its Amethi bastion.

Allegations and counter-allegations of EVM tampering have been flying this poll season, with the Congress recently claiming that the BJP’s victory in Gujarat depends on fiddling with voting machines.

“This election is not going to be easy for BJP. The party’s win in the polls will depend on how it fiddles with the electronic voting machines,” said National general secretary of Congress Mohan Prakash, adding that ballot paper was the best way for free and fair elections.

Firing back at the Congress party’s allegations, finance minister Arun Jaitley was making such statements to justify its imminent defeat in Gujarat.

“The results haven’t been out yet and they have already started making excuses for their defeat,” he said at a press conference in Surat today.

UP’s deputy chief minister
Dinesh
Sharma
also rejected the opposition’s charges of EVM tampering.

“There was no shortcoming in EVMs, but it’s in their minds and party. They worked for a particular caste and people have discarded them. We are working for all, irrespective of caste, creed and religion and that has been accepted by the people,” Sharma told PTI.

Both Akhilesh and Mayawati have been stridently demanding that elections be conducted on ballot papers after their respective parties suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the BJP in the UP assembly polls. While Mayawati had been the first to cry foul and blame the BJP for rigging EVMs, Akhilesh soon warmed up to the notion and called for the EC to conduct future elections on ballot papers.

“Election Commission should answer on cases of EVM tampering. In future, elections must be held on ballot paper,” he had said in April.

The Election Commission has, however, always overruled these objections, asserting that there were no problems in EVMs.

(With PTI inputs)

Updated: December 2, 2017 — 4:13 pm

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