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Ravindra Waikar must not take oath till EVM row is resolved, says Shiv Sena (UBT) amid poll result row

Thackeray’s son Aaditya, an MLA from Worli, has also launched a scathing attack against the BJP and Shiv Sena.
Last Updated : 17 June 2024, 22:07 IST

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Mumbai: The counting controversy involving the Mumbai North-West seat escalated further with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) demanding Ravindra Waikar be stopped from taking oath as a Lok Sabha member till the issue is settled. 

In Mumbai North-West, Waikar, who switched to the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena just before the elections, had defeated Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Amol Kirtikar by 48 votes. 

While Kirtikar is preparing to file a petition in the Bombay High Court in a fortnight challenging Waikar’s victory and why the complaints to the Election Commission were not addressed, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Anil Parab is contemplating moving court against Returning Officer Vandana Suryavanshi, the Mumbai Suburban district’s Additional Collector. 

Thackeray’s son Aaditya, an MLA from Worli, has also launched a scathing attack against the BJP and Shiv Sena. 

“Had there been no EVMs and elections were free and fair, the BJP would have won only 40 seats and not 240 seats,” said Aaditya. 

However, Shiv Sena deputy leader Sanjay Nirupam rejected the charge, saying: “If EVMs could be hacked, would so many Congress seats have been won?”.

It may be mentioned that while Suryavanshi has rejected media reports that a “mobile phone was used to generate an OTP to unlock an EVM”, the Vanrai police station has registered an FIR into the alleged use of a mobile phone inside the counting centre.

The FIR has named Mangesh Pandilkar, a relative and aide of Waikar, and Dinesh Gaurav, an ENCORE poll-portal operator. “It is unfortunate that the mobile used by one of our officers fell into unauthorised hands, and we have already filed a police complaint,” Suryavanshi said. 

Meanwhile, the Vanrai police, in a statement, have denied that any police officer has given information about OTPs being used to unlock EVMs. 

"It would be a true display of democracy if he is stopped from being a Lok Sabha member until the investigation is concluded," Raut said on the issue of stopping Waikar from taking the oath. 

Parab claimed that Form 17 C was not provided. “The election result declared is suspicious . We are taking legal recourse. Counting process was fine until the 19th round. There was no transparency after the 19th round…till the 19th round, our tally was 650 votes more than the opposite candidate,” said Parab, and pointed out that he fears that the phone seized may be changed. 

"Probe also needs to be done on the constant phone calls to the returning officer. She would move away from her seat several times to talk on the phone," he said.

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Published 17 June 2024, 22:07 IST

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