BSP demands use of ballot paper in Assembly polls

 BSP leader Marasandra Muniyappa addressing a press conference in Kalaburagi on Saturday. - PHOTO: ARUN KULKARNI

BSP leader Marasandra Muniyappa addressing a press conference in Kalaburagi on Saturday. - PHOTO: ARUN KULKARNI

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), that had complained of Electronic Voting Machine tampering in the Uttar Pradesh elections, has now asked the Election Commission of India to use traditional ballot papers in the upcoming Assembly polls in Karnataka.

Addressing a media conference here on Saturday, Marasandra Muniyappa, State Coordinator and party’s Karnataka in-charge, alleged that EVM tampering by the Bharatiya Janata Party was the only reason for his party’s defeat in Uttar Pradesh.

“Nowhere in the world, except India, are EVMs used in elections as there was a possibility of tampering. It is EVM tampering alone that led to our defeat in Uttar Pradesh. Tampering was not done in Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand that also went to the polls with Uttar Pradesh. It was done only in Uttar Pradesh as it had become an issue of prestige for BJP to record a victory there,” he said. He added that his party approached the court as it had sufficient evidence to establish EVM tampering, he said.

Mr. Muniyappa exuded confidence of winning at least 25 seats in the elections in Karnataka. “We were in second or third place in five constituencies in the last election. We have built party structures at grassroots level and expanded our mass base in many constituencies,” he said.

Criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for hailing Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in words and taking “anti-Ambedkarite stance” in deeds, Mr. Muniyappa said that BJP was a party of “anti-people and pro-corporate classes.” “The BJP has always been against the poor people of this country. Dalits, backward classes, minorities and other oppressed sections have suffered a lot under its rule. Dalits and Muslims are being killed in the name of protecting cows. It was the party that had led agitations against Mandal Commission’s reconditions for reservations to Backward Classes,” he said.

Tipu Jayanti

Hailing Tipu Sultan as a great freedom fighter who breathed his last at the battlefield fight the British, Mr. Muniyappa strongly supported the State government’s decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti. He alleged that BJP was communalising the issue by wrongly projecting Tipu Sultan as a Muslim fanatic just to polarise Hindu votes in its favour.

“Nowhere in world history could we find a king who fought and died like an ordinary soldier in the battlefield. He was a rare kind of patriotic king who pledged his two sons to the British for the sake of his kingdom. Tipu Sultan was being wrongly shown by right-wing forces,” he said. He added that BSP would proudly celebrate Tipu Jayanti.

Mr. Muniyappa said that BSP party supremo and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati would participate in a day-long party workers’ conference in Bengaluru on November 26.

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Printable version | Oct 3, 2022 5:01:44 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bsp-demands-use-of-ballot-paper-in-assembly-polls/article19980837.ece