Lucknow: The Samajwadi Party has called a meeting of opposition parties on Saturday to discuss the "functioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs)" and to "join hands in opposing the future use of EVMs", said a party leader on Thursday.
Party state unit chief Naresh Uttam said he had written to the leaders of the Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Rashtriya Lok Dal, Lok Dal, Communist Party of India and CPI-M, inviting them for the meet. The BSP has refused to attend. All other parties, except the Congress, have confirmed they will take part. It is also seen as an effort to forge opposition unity before the general elections in 2019.
Parties that lost to the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in early 2017 have been alleging manipulation of the EVMs in favour of the BJP.
The Samajwadi Party has demanded that all future elections should be held under the old and time-tested ballot paper system as they "had lost faith in the EVMs". BSP chief Mayawati has for long been alleging that the EVMs have been tampered to electorally benefit the BJP.