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NEW DELHI: After the BSP emerged second in the
Uttar Pradesh civic polls+
, a resurgent Mayawati challenged the BJP and said her party would sweep the 2019 Lok Sabha polls if voting is done on ballot papers.
“If BJP is honest and believes in democracy then discard EVMs and conduct voting on ballot papers. General Elections are due in 2019. If BJP believes people are with them, they must implement it. I can guarantee if pallot papers are used, BJP won’t come to power,” the BSP chief told mediapersons on Saturday.
If BJP is honest & believes in democracy then discard EVMs & conduct voting on Ballot papers. General Elections are… https://t.co/Io3cEiHSLq
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP)
Mayawati has been demanding the use of ballot papers since her party’s rout in the UP assembly election earlier this year, which she attributed to rigged Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
Firing back at the opposition’s charge of EVM tampering, deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma said the their defeat was a result of resorting to vote-bank politics.
“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.
While the BJP swept the civic body polls in UP, the BSP sprang a surprise as it thwarted saffron party candidates to win the mayoral posts in western UP’s Aligarh and Meerut towns. It also made a strong showing in the nagar palika and nagar panchayats polls.
The party has performed well despite Mayawati’s absence from campaigning. Political experts opined that the win in two mayoral seats could help Mayawati boost the sagging morale of her cadre, which was otherwise disenchanted by repeated electoral defeats in recent times.
Meanwhile, the SP and the Congress put up a disappointing show and could not secure a single mayoral seat, with the latter left red-faced after losing in its stronghold of Amethi.
With the upturn in the BSP’s fortunes in the civic polls, Mayawati has made overtures to members of the other backward classes (OBCs), asking them to side with her party to get rid of exploitation and fight against the BJP.
The former UP chief minister said along with the Dalits, Muslims and other religious minorities and tribals, the members of the OBC communities were also exploited and that they all needed to unite against the BJP.
“All the communities need to stay alert against the BJP, which is carrying out its Hindutva agenda through the RSS,” she said.
(With PTI inputs)