Buoyed by impressive showing in the just-concluded civic body polls in Uttar Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Saturday said that the BJP would lose in 2019 if elections were held using ballot papers.
Mayawati said, “If the BJP claims that they enjoy the mandate of the people, and the entire country is with them, then they should set aside the EVMs and hold the elections through ballot paper. And, I can say with full confidence that if the 2019 Lok Sabha polls are held by ballot paper, (the BJP) will not come to power.”
She was speaking to reporters after paying tributes to Buddhist monk Bhadant Pragyanand, who died on 30November, reported PTI.
India has been using electronic voting machines for several years now. The EVMs’ reliability has come under severe scrutiny after several instances of the machines’ malfunctioning. There are also growing suspicion that the EVMs were susceptible to fraudulent use and tampering.
Mayawati’s party had come second to the BJP in the civic body polls held in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP won 14 out of the 16 mayoral seats in the state. The rest were won by the BSP. The BSP had done considerably better in the elections for panchayat and municipality chiefs. The party’s performance assumes significance in light of its near annihilation in this year’s assembly polls.
“We fought the urban local bodies in Uttar Pradesh on party symbol, and it makes me happy to say that along with Dalits, in cities people belonging to backward castes, the upper castes and minorities, especially the Muslims, also voted for us in large number,” she claimed.
Mayawati alleged that in the urban local body polls the government machinery was “misused”. “Otherwise, more of our candidates would had become mayors in the state…and we would have won more seats,” she said.
On a question about forming coalition with other political parties, Mayawati said: “The BSP wants a coalition of sarv samaj – dalits, tribals, backward, minorities (Muslims), upper-castes and want to link them through bhaichara (brotherhood).