Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray accused the BJP of fearing elections and pointed out that due to the BJP's insistence, the Mumbai University Senate elections were abruptly canceled. Meanwhile, the NCP sent a letter to Governor Ramesh Bais seeking the removal of the stay on the elections. Vidyapeeth Vikas Manch (VVM) convenor Harshad Bhide, on the other hand, supported the decision, citing instances of bogus voter registrations. They appealed to authorities not to proceed with the elections until accurate electoral rolls are ready.
Labeling the state government as 'weak', Thackeray stated, "The government is evading responsibility by halting the election process on the last day of nomination filing," and questioned the reasons behind the election blockage. He pointed out that even after scrutinizing electoral rolls, the election process was suspended until further notice, and asked why voters should suffer due to the university administration's errors.
Thackeray emphasized that the government's fear might extend to the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, warning, "The senate won't bring down your government. We will do that." He challenged the government and mentioned the defeats faced by the Mindhe government last year.
The NCP's Sharad Pawar faction criticized the stay on the senate election process and urged Governor Ramesh Bais to lift the stay immediately. They cautioned that if the stay is not removed, the VC of Mumbai University could face intense agitation.
Meanwhile, Vidyapeeth Vikas Manch (VVM), an organization linked to ABVP focused on university development, expressed at a press conference that though the decision was delayed, it is a positive step towards ensuring a fair and transparent election process.
Mumbai University had released an interim electoral roll on May 18, 2023, with 1.13 lakh registered voters. After scrutiny, 72,000 voters were deemed valid, while 40,000 were given time for appeals. The final list of 94,000 voters was published after considering appeals. However, discrepancies persisted even in the final list, with multiple entries and identical addresses but different AADHAR numbers. Harshad Bhide, VVM's convenor, noted these issues had been reported to higher authorities, including Governor Bais.
Bhide further pointed out that the University administration couldn't satisfactorily explain the addition of 22,000 names to the list of 72,000 verified voters. He emphasized that resuming the election process should hinge on a careful examination of these 22,000 voters.
VVM appealed to the university administration to employ modern technologies to verify the list and revise the election schedule accordingly.