Adding fuel to the Electronic Voting Machine manipulation debate, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday reiterated his demand that future elections should be conducted with ballot papers. The Samajwadi Party leader’s statements follow Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati’s claims that the EVMs used in the recently held Assembly elections had been tampered with.

Yadav’s remarks cast aspersions on the transparency of the Assembly polls, in which the Bharatiya Janata Party had secured a landslide victory. “Maang karenge UP me aur Lok Sabha chunaav ho toh duniya ke jis hisse me jis tarah se chunaav hota hai, usi tarah ballot se chunav ho. [We will demand that both state Assembly and Lok Sabha elections be held using the ballot system, just like it is conducted in many parts of the world],’’ Yadav told reporters.

Addressing reporters at a press conference, the former chief minister also alleged that the police department, under new Chief Minister Adityanath’s administration, was resorting to discriminatory transferring of police personnel from a particular caste. “Only policemen of one particular caste are being suspended/transferred, everybody knows. But will you report that?” Yadav asked reporters.

The former chief minister’s statements followed the suspension of IPS officer Himanshu Kumar after he had alleged that members of the Yadav caste were being targeted within the police department, The Times of India reported.

On the matter of EVM tampering, the Election Commission had said that there was “no merit” in the BSP’s complaints, and that the accusations were not “legally tenable”. Mayawati was joined by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who had claimed that 20% to 25% of the Aam Aadmi Party’s votes in the Punjab Assembly elections were “transferred” to the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance as a result of EVM manipulation.

Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa went to polls in February and March. The BJP won a clear majority in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and managed to win the floor tests in Manipur and Goa. The Congress formed the government in Punjab.