AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa, who has been strongly critical of electronic voting machines, on Wednesday cited the issue of reliability of the EVMs, a reason for boycotting the August 18 assembly bypolls in five seats in Tamil Nadu.
Noting the recent demonstration by an NGO that EVMs can be tampered with, she said, "This should come as an eye-opener not only to the Election Commission, but also to the voting public," and added,"In a democracy, every voter should know whether the vote cast has gone to the candidate or party it was meant for."
In the absence of such certainty, the entire democratic process would be rendered a "mockery", she said in a statement in Chennai. "It is to ensure that democracy in its true sense is brought back that AIADMK decided to boycott the bypolls."
The party had announced earlier that it was boycotting the elections as it did not believe it would be free and fair with the DMK ruling in the state and UPA at the Centre.
The AIADMK and its ally PMK have been crying hoarse over the reliability of EVMS since the Lok Sabha elections in which their front put up a poor show bagging only 12 seats of the 39 in Tamil Nadu. PMK had lost all the seven seats it contested.
She had first raised the issue of possibility of the EVMs being tampered with in 2000, Jayalalithaa said, adding that many countries in the world "have given up the EVMs as an unreliable system."