Bring back paper ballot to save democracy: Mamata

Accusing the BJP of winning the Lok Sabha polls by using muscle, money and government power, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday called for bringing back the system of paper ballots to save democracy.

"We have gone through the elections fighting against all the muscle, money, government, institutional power which were misused. Our workers fought boldly," she said after a meeting with party officials, MPs and MLAs at the state secretariat.

"They (BJP) got 18 seats (in Bengal) with money, muscle, government, communal and media power. They had targeted 23 seats and maybe EVMs were pre-programmed in favour of them," Banerjee said.

"The verdict was not spontaneous and the BJP's victory was not based on people's support. It was through an artificial mechanism, that is why they have been trying to capture party offices."

She also said the party would organise "public relations" marches across the state ahead of the Trinamool Congress' annual Martyrs' Day rally on July 21.

"The July 21 rally originated from our movement which was for 'No Identity Card, No Vote'. Our 13 workers were shot dead by the then CPI (M) government," she said.

"We are starting a movement 'Save Democracy, Bring Back Ballots'. We do not want (electronic voting) machines but want ballots to save democracy," she added.