The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday lashed out at the Opposition for raising doubts about the efficacy of electronic voting machines, and urged it to accept defeat with grace if the saffron party wins the Lok Sabha elections on May 23, PTI reported.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad mocked the Opposition parties for not questioning the credibility of the machines when they won elections. He described Opposition leaders as demoralised and defeated. “EVM is good when Mamata Banerjee became West Bengal chief minister twice and Amarinder Singh became Punjab chief minister,” he added. “If they win, EVM is good. But when there is expectation that we will win because people of this country want Narendra Modi to be prime minister again, then EVM is unreliable.”

Prasad claimed that the Opposition leaders had realised by the fourth phase that they were not going to win the polls. “Therefore they started finding excuses,” he alleged.

BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said the Opposition needed an excuse to explain its impending defeat. “When they win, as they did in state polls recently, EVMs are trustworthy,” Rao added. “But when they lose, they become questionable. Their selective trust in the EVMs is hypocritical and mischievous.”

Earlier in the day, representatives of 21 Opposition parties reiterated their demands related to the electronic voting machines and voter verified paper audit trail slips to the Election Commission. Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the poll panel has decided to deliberate on the matter on Wednesday.

The case

Last month, the Supreme Court ordered VVPAT slips would be used to verify votes for five electronic voting machines in every constituency during the elections, instead of just one. The court said this practice would ensure the “greatest degree of accuracy, satisfaction” in the election process.

The review plea by the Opposition parties claimed that the “increase from one to five was not a reasonable number”. The parties urged it to direct the Election Commission to cross-check at least 50% votes using VVPAT slips. On May 7, the court declined to hear the review petition. The Election Commission had told the court that verification of 50% of votes would delay the announcement of results by six days.