Hold BMC elections with ballot paper, not EVMs, Thackeray dares Maha govt

by IANS |

Mumbai, Dec 5 (IANS) Shiv Sena-UBT President and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday challenged the state government to conduct the upcoming BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections with ballot papers instead of EVMs.

Addressing the media her, Thackeray said that recently the Bharatiya Janata Party got success in three of the five states' assembly election.

"The BJP has got a landslide victory in the three states (Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh) recently. But my challenge to them is, conduct the upcoming BMC elections with ballot papers and then see the outcome," he said, throwing the gauntlet at the BJP.

"If you have the courage", then hold the BMC polls first, and conduct only that election with ballot paper and then see the outcome, he said.

Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) ally and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Vijay Wadettiwar came out in support of Thackeray’s demand to hold the civic polls with ballot papers.

"Even when Thackeray was allied with the BJP, he had made a similar demand, though at that time it was vis-a-vis the Congress. But this ballot paper experiment must be done now," the Congress leader urged.

He pointed to certain alleged instances of suspected EVM tinkering and said “doubts have been created in the minds of the people”.

"Major democracies like the USA have also discontinued EVMs… Clear the confusion in the minds of the masses. If the elections are really being held honestly then conduct them once with ballot papers and allay the peoples’ fears," Wadettiwar added.

Thackeray also sought details of the status of the Dharavi redevelopment project that has been awarded to the Adani Group recently. The ex-CM said that the people of Dharavi need to be shifted along with their industries, and said that they must be given at least 400-500 sq feet homes.

He expressed strong concerns over many of the huts in Dharavi reportedly facing issues of eligibility for inclusion in the revamp project. Thackeray said that the Shiv Sena-UBT will take out a protest march on December 16 in Dharavi to demand answers on various apprehensions of the people there.

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