Akhilesh, Mayawati urge Election Commission to provide alternative to EVMs amid hacking row, calls them 'threat to democracy'

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh): Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday urged Election Commission of India (EC) to look for an alternative to electronic voting machines (EVM) saying that they are a threat to a vibrant democracy.

Akhilesh's statement came a day after an Indian 'cyber expert' on Monday claimed that EVMs were hacked in 2014 Lok Sabha elections which saw the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win by a landslide margin.

File photo of Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav with Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati. PTI

File photo of Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav with Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati. PTI

The EC, however, clarified that the EVMs cannot be tampered with, asserting that the machines are manufactured following "rigorous standard operating procedures".

Akhilesh told media, "If someone has raised a question then it must be looked into why a developed country like Japan is not using EVMs. It is not a question of a political party, it is a question of having trust in democracy. EC and the government should take a decision".

SP's ally Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati too spoke on the same lines and urged the EC to bring back ballot paper system.

"Keeping democracy's larger interest in mind, it is essential to look into the EVM issue so that it gets resolved soon. It is possible to validate ballot paper, but it is not possible with EVM. We demand EC should hold 2019 general election using ballot paper; our demand should be taken into consideration," Mayawati told reporters.

"After witnessing EVM tampering in the general elections, people of this country are afraid; they now feel that their vote is no more theirs, and their votes were looted by various groups because of which BJP has managed to come to power not only at the Centre, but also in most of the states. They are making the poor, hard-working population anxious about their future," added Mayawati.

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Updated Date: Jan 22, 2019 16:14:44 IST

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