Mayawati calls for fresh UP elections, alleges EVM tampering led to poor BSP showing
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati dismissed the Uttar Pradesh assembly election results on Saturday afternoon and called for fresh polls, hours after trends and results indicated a crushing victory for her outfit in India’s largest state.
Speaking to reporters, Mayawati accused the BJP – which appeared on course for a two-thirds majority in the 403-member assembly – of murdering democracy and said tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) was responsible for her party’s poor showing.
“Either the EVMs did not accept votes other than BJP, or the votes of other parties have gone to BJP in the EVMs,” news agency ANI quoted the Dalit leader as saying.
“Polling should be held afresh under the old system in which voters were given ballot papers to cast their vote. Even in USA ballot papers are used in elections after technical fault was detected in EVMs,” she said.
She said she had written to the election commission to cancel the election results. The BSP – which was attempting to forge a Dalit-Muslim alliance – was pushed to a dismal third position, leading in just 20-odd seats.
“The EVMs should be sealed and examined by technical experts from a foreign country or else BJP will manage local experts. The use of EVMs should be stopped in future Lok Sabha, assembly and local bodies’ election also, else the ruling party will manipulate the results,” she said.
Talking to HT, an election commission officer ruled out tampering of EVMs. “In 2009 Lok Sabha election too, some political parties raised the issue of manipulation in the EVMs. The EC had got it checked by technical experts. The EC has also introduced Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) EVMs where the voter gets a paper slip after he casts his vote. The name of the political party and symbol is mentioned on the slip,” he said.
In her press conference, Mayawati said the BJP won the election in Muslim-dominated areas of West UP and Rohilkhand. “The Muslim voters have not supported the BJP then how come their vote has been transferred to BJP. Several Muslim community leaders expressed surprise over the massive victory of BJP candidates in their constituency,” she added.
After the 2014 Lok Sabha election, non-BJP political parties raised the issue of EVM tampering before the election commission. Similar grievance was raised by political parties after Maharashtra municipal election, she said.
In the press conference held by Mayawati on March 6, a journalist had raised the issue of tampering of EVMs. She had then rejected his allegation and rebuffed him, stating that he was a BJP agent. On Saturday she said, “I was not aware that the journalist was aware of the manipulations in the EVMs.”