Addressing the West Bengal state conference of the SP in Kolkata, a day after the civic poll results were declared, the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said the BJP had done far better in the seats where EVMs were used.
BSP chief Mayawati, who had in March raised doubts over EVMs after the assembly elections, threw an open challenge to the BJP to hold the 2019 Lok Sabha polls using ballot papers. "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", Mayawati claimed. Whereas in Nagar Palika BJP secured 916 posts against 4295 by others and in Nagar Panchayat polls it won won- 663 seats in comparison to 4715 won by other parties and independents.
As the Bharatiya Janata Party hailed Uttar Pradesh local body results as "massive victory" and vindication of people's faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policies including GST, rival parties got together to hit back and blamed the results, especially of Mayor elections, on EVM tampering. "Where voting was done by EVM, the BJP got 46 per cent of the seats, but only 15 per cent where voting was done by ballot", he said.
Samajwadi Party (SP) spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary alleged that the BJP again misused EVMs to win 14 mayoral contests and reiterated the demand that ballot paper be used in the future elections. "Otherwise, more of our candidates would have become mayors in the state...and we would have won more seats", she said.
Mr. Yadav did not elaborate or provide data for his claim.
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What could worry the BJP is also the fact that these results have come after a 50-rally campaign by chief minister Yogi Adityanath, while on the other side no one equal to his stature like Mayawati or Akhilesh Yadav campaigned. This is clear from results of seats where ballot papers were used.
The BJP candidates have won Agra, Ghaziabad and Kanpur mayoral seats.
Talking to the media in Lucknow, Uttam said the BJP indulged in all "undemocratic acts" to emerge victorious. The voters have given a befitting reply to the baseless allegations levelled by them.
Overall, in Gorakhpur, BJP won 27 wards, SP 18, BSP 2 and Congress 2.