Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Tuesday reiterated her demand that the ballot be used in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections instead of electronic voting machines, PTI reported.
Mayawati has said earlier as well that the machines can be tampered with. Her latest remark came a day after Syed Shuja, a self-proclaimed United States-based cyber expert, said at a press conference in London that the 2014 General Elections were rigged. He also claimed that the machines can be hacked.
“The latest revelations have made the doubts on the EVMs more serious,” Mayawati said. “It is better under such conditions that future elections, especially the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, be conducted using ballot paper, which can be verified at three levels, unlike the EVMs.”
The Bahujan Samaj Party chief urged the Election Commission to take note of the “revelations” that expose the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “conspiracy”. The BJP had won the 2014 elections and had become the first party to secure a majority alone since 1984.
“This has directly put the BJP in the dock, but the central government is unlikely to take any positive step to address the issue because of its egoistical and stubborn attitude,” Mayawati said.
Mayawati claimed that her party was the first to express doubt about the reliability of the machines and said that citizens were starting to feel that their votes were being “looted”.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also expressed concern at the credibility of the machines, ANI reported. His party is an ally to the BSP in the upcoming elections.
“If someone has raised a question then it must be thought that what is the reason that a developed country like Japan is not using EVMs,” Yadav said. “It is not a question of a political party, it is a question of trust in democracy. The Election Commission and government should make a decision.”
The Opposition parties have raised doubt about the infallibility of electronic voting machines a number of times in the recent past. The Election Commission has repeatedly denied that the machines can be tampered with.
Shuja had on Monday claimed that major political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Aam Aadmi Party, were involved in the rigging of voting machines.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad refuted Shuja’s claims and alleged that his press conference was sponsored by the Congress. The Election Commission also reiterated that the machines cannot be hacked, and wrote to the Delhi Police, asking for a case to be filed in the matter.