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BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday challenged the BJP to conduct Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha elections on ballot paper instead of electronic voting machines (EVM). Addressing a rally at Nagpur, Mayawati said, "If BJP thinks that they are honest and transparent then they should conduct all the upcoming elections in the country with ballot paper instead of EVM." She said that the BJP's silence on the issue showed that EVMs had irregularities in elections that were conducted in various parts of India since 2014. Mayawati claimed that the BSP had to suffer heavy losses in elections to the Lok Sabha in 2014 as well as the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh in 2017 due to these irregularities. Further attacking the BJP and the RSS, Mayawati said that dalits, tribals, OBCs and minorities were facing castiest, religious and communal attitude from the so-called thekedars (custodians)of the Hindu religion. "It was due this attitude that Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar along with lakhs of his followers had to embrace Buddhism.
He was not against Hinduism but he was against the inequality meted out," Mayawati said. She warned the BJP and the RSS that if this attitude towards the backward sections of society didn't change, she along with crores of others would embrace Buddhism. Asking her party cadre to be ready for polls, Mayawati said that the BJP would start constructing the Ram Mandir just before the Lok Sabha elections to hide their administrative failure at the state and Centre. She added that the BJP would play the "nationalism" card as well to garner votes.