'Stop Waikar's Oath': Hindu Samaj Party Mumbai North West Candidate Alleges Election Fraud

'Stop Waikar's Oath': Hindu Samaj Party Mumbai North West Candidate Alleges Election Fraud

The Mumbai North West candidate from the Hindu Samaj Party urges not to administer the oath of Waikar in a letter he sent to the Lok Sabha secretary general, alleging involvement in illegal activities and malpractice.

Manasi KambleUpdated: Thursday, June 20, 2024, 01:31 PM IST
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(L) Bharat Khimji Shah, Hindu Samaj Party candidate; (R) Ravindra Waikar, Shiv Sena candidate. | FPJ

Mumbai: The candidate for the Mumbai North West seat from the Hindu Samaj Party had sent a letter to the secretary general of the Lok Sabha and Election Commission of India urging them not to appoint Shiv Sena candidate Ravindra Waikar to a seat. Waikar defeated his closest rival by 48 votes. In the letter to the Lok Sabha secretary general, Bharat Shah of the Hindu Samaj Party alleged serious malpractices and illegalities during the counting of votes on June 4.

"The voting and counting conducted in the Mumbai North West constituency was not free and fair as expected under the Representation of the People Act-1950 and was not by the Model Code of Conduct," Shah claimed in the letter dated June 19.

"It will be just and proper not to allow Ravindra Waikar to take oath of allegiance under Article 99 as a member of Parliament which retain and regain the confidence of voters in India that there is some evaluation system functional which takes serious and swift cognizance of electoral frauds," Shah said in the letter.

Who Is Bharat Khimji Shah?

As the Hindu Samaj Party's representative from the Mumbai North West constituency, Bharat Khimji Shah contested the Lok Sabha 2024 elections. 53-year-old Bharat Khimji Shah has a 12th-grade education and is self-employed. There is one criminal case pending against Bharat Khimji Shah. With immovable assets worth Rs 3.8 crore and movable assets worth Rs 43.1 lac, Bharat Khimji Shah has a net worth of Rs 4.2 crore. He has zero liabilities.

Support For The Claim

Notably, Waikar defeated Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate Amol Kirtikar by a razor-thin margin of 48 votes, while Shah garnered 937 of the 9,54,939 votes cast in the Mumbai North West constituency. Targeting the returning officer, the Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray, has been accused of malpractice during the vote-counting process.

Leader of the Shiv Sena Vinayak Raut, who lost the Lok Sabha election from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg in Maharashtra, also wrote to the Election Commission of India on Wednesday, requesting a recount in the seat, claiming that the BJP's Narayan Rane won by using "corrupt and illegal practices."

Asim Sarode, a lawyer representing the Shiv Sena and assisting the party in its appeals for the disqualification of rebel Shiv Sena legislators, wrote letters to both the executive committee of the Lok Sabha and the ECI.

Controversy Related To EVM Scandals

With Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders citing a media report alleging that a relative of Waikar was found using a mobile phone "connected" to an electronic voting machine during the June 4 vote counting, a political slugfest broke out over the claims of EVM tampering on Sunday.

EC Responds

The constituency's returning officer, Vandana Suryavanshi, refuted the report, calling it "false news," and claimed that the EVM is a stand-alone device that cannot be programmed and lacks wireless communication capabilities.

Lok Sabha Oath Ceremony

The 18th Lok Sabha's first session will take place from June 24 to July 3. The speaker of the Lok Sabha will be chosen, the President of India will give an address, and the newly elected members will take an oath or affirmation.

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