New Delhi: With her party reduced to just 19 Assembly seats in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, BSP supremo Mayawati on Tuesday once again raised the issue of electronic voting machines (EVMs) being tampered with, and said that the results in UP and Uttarakhand amounted to the “murder of democracy”.
Raising the issue in the Rajya Sabha, she dared the BJP to hold Assembly elections in UP using paper ballots if it was confident of the people’s mandate, and demanded a law to scrap the use of EVMs in elections. Dismissing her allegations, Union minister Ravishankar Prasad said the Election Commission was much appreciated the world over for its free and fair conduct of elections across the country, and that EVMs are “technologically perfect”, while asking the Opposition to respect the people’s mandate.
The BSP had given a notice under rule 267 seeking the suspension of business to take up the issue, which the Chair rejected. Ms Mayawati said that when the Congress was in power, senior BJP leaders had expressed apprehensions on the use of EVMs, saying free and fair elections could not happen using EVMs. Now that the BJP is in government, she said, they are now justifying EVMs and added that major democracies in the world use paper ballot for casting votes.
Ms Mayawati alleged that votes cast in her party’s favour were credited to the 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. Deputy chairman P J Kurien said he was not allowing the notice as a short duration discussion on electoral reforms is scheduled tomorrow and these points could be raise then. Later, Congress Digvijaya Singh raised the issue of his substantive motion on the conduct of Goa Governor Mridula Sinha which the Chair said was under “serious consideration.” Mr
Singh’s notice under rule 267 seeks suspension of business to discuss conduct of Governor in not inviting single largest party in Goa to form the government, was rejected. “There are some formalities to be completed. After formalities are completed, you will be informed. It is not rejected,” said Prof. Kurien while informing that there are certain formalities to be completed before such a motion is admitted for discussion.
Mr Singh also wanted to know when Home minister Rajnath Singh will come to the House to give clarifications on the suspected ISIS terrorist being gunned down in an “encounter” in Lucknow. Prof. Kurien said the home minister will be consulted on his availability and clarifications sought will be made.