New Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati on Tuesday dared BJP to hold assembly elections in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh using paper ballots if it was confident of the people's mandate and demanded a law to scrap the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in elections.
Raising the issue in Rajya Sabha, she said the results of the just-concluded assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand were "not a verdict of people but a verdict of EVMs." She said her party has given a notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of business to take up the issue.
When Congress was in power, senior BJP leaders had expressed apprehensions on the use of EVMs saying free and fair elections cannot happen using the EVMs, she said. Now that BJP is in government, they are now justifying EVMs, she said, adding that major democracies in the world use paper ballot for casting votes. She went on to allege that votes cast in her party's favour were credited to BJP by faulty or tampered EVMs.
"If your conscience is so clear, why not call for elections (again) using paper ballot," she said amid slogan shouting by treasury benches to counter her. She demanded that a law be brought in the ongoing budget session of the Parliament to scrap the use of EVMs in elections.
Deputy Chairman P. J. Kurien said he was not allowing the notice as a short duration discussion on electoral reforms is scheduled for Wednesday and these points could be raise then. Mayawati however persisted with her point for some time but took her seat after Kurien insisted on not allowing her notice.