Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Monday wrote to the Election Commission of India (ECI) regarding “restoring faith in the election process in the country”.
Raj Thackeray has written, “Individuals have communicated their dissatisfaction with the manner in which elections are being conducted in the last few years and raised questions regarding EVMs. We request you to get back to ballot papers and appeal to have assembly election in Maharashtra with ballot papers only.”
In July 2018, Raj Thackeray had alleged that the BJP had won the past elections by manipulating the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
“The EVMs had helped the BJP win the elections in the past. Otherwise, how can any candidate get zero votes in polls?” he had questioned while speaking to reporters.
Representatives of 21 opposition parties led by TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had met the Election Commission raising concerns over the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and VVPAT slips two days ahead of counting of votes for the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.
The opposition parties have been complaining about EVM malfunctioning and demanding the use of ballot papers even before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
President of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Sharad Pawar had in June cast an aspersion over the veracity and authenticity of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) used by the Election Commission of India, especially following the massive victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, adding that his party would consult technical experts and other Opposition parties over the issue.
“The problem is not with the EVM or VVPAT where the people vote, but with the machine with the electoral officer that is finally counted. We are going to go in depth of it now by discussing this with technicians and experts and opposition members in Delhi,” adding, “If people realise that the vote they are casting is not going for their candidate of choice, they may keep calm now but they may take law into their hands in future. We should not allow that to happen.”