Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh unit of Congress today demanded that next month’s by-elections in the state be held through paper ballot and not the electronic voting machines (EVMs). Serious doubts have cropped up in the minds of voters. So the polling for by-elections to Ater and Bandhavgarh Assembly seats should be conducted through the paper ballot,” state Congress president Arun Yadav told reporters here. To a question about BSP supremo Mayawati’s allegation that EVMs were tampered with during the Uttar Pradesh elections, he said he had similar apprehensions.

The ruling BJP in the state and at the Centre is likely to resort to the same way in the by-elections, Yadav alleged.

“Congress would win both the by-elections due to our strong base in these areas,” he asserted. The party was not disappointed by the outcome of recent Assembly elections because it emerged as the single largest party in three out of the five states, Yadav said.

Congress was not invited to form the government in Goa and Manipur which is unconstitutional,” he said. Earlier in the day, a Congress delegation submitted a memorandum to the Chief Electoral Officer of Madhya Pradesh demanding use of ballot paper in the by-elections scheduled for April 9.

Election became necessary in Ater after the death of the then Leader of Opposition in the Assembly and Congress MLA Satyadev Katare. Bandhavgarh seat fell vacant after the sitting MLA and state minister Gyan Singh was elected to the Lok Sabha from Shahdol in a by-election last November.