Free Press Journal

Maharashtra Bypolls: EC rejects Shiv Sena’s claim on faulty EVMs leading to loss of its candidate in Palghar


Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena Chief, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra, Maharashtra CM, Ratnagiri, Nanar Refinery, Vidarbha, Konkan

New Delhi/Mumbai: The Election Commission has rejected all allegations levelled by the Shiv Sena that irregularities in electronic voting machines led to the defeat of its candidate in the Palghar Lok Sabha bypoll, saying the winning BJP candidate has been issued a certificate. In other words, the Sena demand for a re-poll has been rejected.

The PIB even put out a tweet quoting the poll body as saying that news reports on alleged large scale failure of EVMs and VVPATs are exaggerated. The EC does not have its own twitter handle. Thackeray had earlier asked opposition parties to “boycott” elections if controversies surrounding electronic voting machines are not resolved. He also threatened to drag the EC to court over the Palghar result and sought suspension of poll officers over the “sudden increase” in voting percentage.

“For the last several days and even on the election day, there were complaints regarding irregularities in EVMs. Does the EC even have control over the poll process? EVMs had malfunctioned in several places and people could not exercise their right to vote,” he said. “Will elections in 2019 be conducted like IPL matches at night time, if they can’t take place during the day,” he asked.

“Going by the corruption in the EC, I would suggest that even election commissioners should not be appointed, but elected,” the Sena chief said. “When the BJP won the Palghar seat in 2014, the victory margin was in lakhs. Today, they barely managed to win by a few thousand votes,” Thackeray told reporters. “Out of over 8 lakh people who voted in Palghar, over 6 lakh had rejected the BJP,” he said.

“I am not ready to accept this defeat because ‘saam, daam, dand, bhed (negotiation, money, punishment and division)’ were used to win the polls,” Thackeray said. “When the BJP came to power in 2014, we thought this government is here to stay for at least 25 years. However, after only 4 years, they are losing by-elections, which has reduced them to a minority. After coming to power with a majority, they thought they did not need allies anymore,” he said.