Kolkata/Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday put the blame on the EVMs for his party's rout in the Uttar Pradesh civic polls, and accused the BJP of using all means including state resources to win the elections.
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.
"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.
Akhilesh Yadav alleged that the UP government used government helicopters like "Pushpak Viman" and "brought Ram and Sita to Ayodhya".
Citing an example, he said UP Chief Minister Yogi Adidyanath had visited Ayodhya five times during the campaign.
However, Akhilesh Yadav did not agree that the BJP had improved its showing in the civic polls, that came eight months after Adityanath was sworn in as chief minister.
"The BJP had won three-fourth of the seats in the assembly polls. But in this election, many seats have gone to independent candidates," he said.
Earlier in the day, SP UP unit chief Naresh Uttam had charged the BJP with intimidating polling officials and opposition party candidates, tampering voter lists and manipulating the EVMs.
Talking to the media in Lucknow, Uttam said the BJP indulged in all "undemocratic acts" to emerge victorious. "The ruling party should realise that we have got good (number of) seats despite the fact that our chief Akhilesh Yadav did not canvass," he said.
Uttam said had Akhilesh Yadav campaigned extensively, the results would have been much different and the BJP would have been wiped out in the urban body polls.
The BJP had nothing to project about its government and hence they not only engaged in electoral malpractices they also pressed into service the entire government machinery, including the cabinet, the SP leader said.
State spokesman of the party, Rajendra Chowdhary said the BJP had trumpeted the results as its victory though this "was neither the truth nor the exact reality".
"BJP has done extensive bungling and now is telling the incomplete results," he added.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) also accused the BJP of resorting to EVM related malpractices and demanded that the 2019 general elections be held through ballot papers.