- Mayawati accused BJP of "hijacking the elections with the help of EVMs"
- The "trust of the nation has been broken" after the polls, she said
- Didn't expect "such a bad performance" from grand alliance, she added
Mayawati, who conveyed the desire to be the country's next Prime Minister to a leader from south India on Wednesday, has blamed the manipulation of Electronic Voting Machines for her crushing defeat in the national elections. She also accused the BJP of "hijacking the elections with the help of EVMs".
Mayawati's alliance with Samajwadi chief Akhilesh Yadav and Ajit Singh was billed to beat the BJP in the country's largest state, which sends the maximum number of lawmakers to the Lok Sabha.
Instead, the alliance is likely to get less than one-fourth of the 80 seats in the state, while the BJP is set to win 60-plus seats.
On Thursday evening, Mayawati accused the BJP of "hijacking the national elections with the help of EVMs" after the leads indicated a clear majority for the ruling party.
"The whole country was opposing EVMs and after today's results, the remaining faith of the public will also vanish," said the BSP chief, who, after the BJP victory in the 2017 assembly elections, had alleged that voting machines were tampered with to favour the BJP.
Mayawati had even demanded that voting be done on ballot papers instead of EVMs.
The "trust of the nation has been broken" after the national election, Mayawati said on Thursday. "There is something fishy about the Election Commission and the BJP both not agreeing to Ballot Papers" she added.
She said she did not expect "such a bad performance" from the grand alliance and the result is "quite the opposite of the public sentiment".
Mayawati's BSP had tied up with Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal of Ajit Singh, keeping the Congress out. But Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had insisted on contesting most of the seats in Uttar Pradesh - a move that was expected to play into the hands of the BJP by splitting the anti-BJP vote.
Samajwadi chief Akhilesh had earlier claimed the gathbandhan would win more than 50 seats in the state.
The BSP chief, who had been in talks with various opposition parties to forge an anti-BJP front for a post-election scenario, had earlier conveyed her desire to be the prime minister to one of the southern leaders she met recently. Mayawati had told the leader that her party's support would go to "whoever supports me for Prime Minister".
Earlier this month, she told her workers that she "may have to" contest the Lok Sabha election from Uttar Pradesh's Ambedkar Nagar "if all goes well" - a remark taken to mean that she was aiming for the top job.
(With inputs from PTI)