LUCKNOW: Latching on to the claim by a US-based cyber expert that the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were "rigged", Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav Tuesday questioned the use of electronic voting machines when even the more advanced nations were not using them.
He said the Bharatiya Janata Party government was weakening democratic institutions. It is using them to suppress dissent and the voice of the opposition, he said.
"Why does a country like Japan, which is very advanced in science and technology, is not using the EVMs? The question should be raised among the nation's 130 crore people, the SP chief said here.
His remarks come after a self-proclaimed cyber expert, a US-based Indian, claimed at a London press conference that the last Lok Sabha elections were "rigged" through the EVMs.
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati, who is Yadav's alliance partner in the state, had also issued a statement criticising the EVMs, a day after the London press conference.
She suggested that paper ballots should be used in the next election. Yadav was talking to reporters after garlanding a statue of Jnaneshwar Mishra to mark the Samajwadi Party leader's death anniversary.
He said the SP-BSP alliance has given an option to the people to crush the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
"People have a chance to rid the country of the BJP's misrule by voting in favour of the alliance in the approaching parliamentary polls," he said.
Arch-rivals for about 25 years, the BSP and the SP earlier this month announced they will contest the Lok Sabha polls together in Uttar Pradesh, sharing 38 seats each of the 80 in the state.
The two parties said they will not field candidates in Rae Bareli and Amethi, the Gandhi family bastions, but have left the Congress out of their alliance.
Without ruling out the possibility of working with the Congress after the polls, Akhilesh told PTI Monday that he has good relations with that party and would be "happy" if the next prime minister is from his home state.