Lucknow: An Indian cyber expert had claimed that electronic voting machines (EVMs) can be hacked and said that the 2014 general election was rigged through EVMs. On Tuesday, the cyber expert’s remark triggered reactions from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) chiefs.

While the BJP vehemently denied the sensational claim saying the cyber expert failed to provide any proof for his allegations, leaders like BSP chief Mayawati and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said the matter needs to be looked into.

While Mayawati said that the EVM matter must be resolved keeping in view democracy’s larger interest, Akhilesh reiterated similar sentiments saying that the Election Commission and the government should make a decision.

The BSP chief said, “Keeping democracy’s larger interest in view, essential to look into EVM matter so that it gets resolved soon. It’s possible to validate ballot paper but it’s not the case with EVM. We demand EC hold 2019 general election using ballot paper, taking this into cognizance.”

Stating that the EVM issue wasn’t a question related to a particular political party, Yadav said, “If someone has raised a question then it must be thought that what is the reason that a developed country like Japan is not using EVMs. It is not a question of a political party, it’s a question of trust in democracy. EC and govt should make a decision.”

Earlier today, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the press conference by the Indian cyber expert Syed Suja in London, where he alleged EVM rigging in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, was a “Congress-sponsored event designed to defame the popular mandate of India”.

Prasad also questioned the presence of senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal in the press conference in London and alleged that the latter was “monitoring the situation on behalf of the Congress party.”

“What was Mr Kapil Sibal doing there? In what capacity was he present there? I believe he was monitoring the situation on behalf of Congress party. Is the Congress sponsored event designed to insult the popular mandate of 2014?” he asked.

Terming the allegations by the cyber expert as “Congress’ false agenda”, Prasad said that the allegations of EVM hacking in 2014 Lok Sabha elections were completely baseless.