Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati has made a renewed demand for use of ballot papers in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections instead of electronic voting machines (EVMs).
The demand comes after a fresh controversy erupted with cyber expert, Syed Shuja, claiming in London that the 2014 general polls along with assembly elections of various states were rigged through EVM hacking.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Mayawati said, “The mystery of EVM is now more serious after a London-based cyber expert claimed that EVMs were hacked in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. In the interest of the country, EVMs should be immediately banned. The tactic of ‘Vote Hamara, Raj Tumhara’ won’t work anymore and this issue should be resolved immediately.”
“For free and fair elections, ballot papers should be brought back as they can be verified unlike the EVM votes. Taking into consideration the recent hacking controversy, the upcoming elections should be conducted using ballot papers instead of EVMs,” the BSP chief added in her press note.
On Monday, the self-proclaimed cyber expert, identified as Syed Shuja, who is seeking political asylum in the US, claimed the 2014 elections were ‘rigged’ through the EVMs, which, he says, can be hacked. The Election Commission of India has denied the charge.
Addressing a press conference in London via Skype, Shuja said he fled India in 2014 because he felt threatened in the country after the killing of some of his team members. He also claimed that BJP leader Gopinath Munde was ‘killed’ because he was aware of EVM hacking in the elections. Munde died in a road accident in New Delhi weeks after the BJP won the 2014 elections.