The Shiv Sena has once again advised BJP to fight elections through ballot boxes at least once.
With BJP all set to emerge as the single largest party in Karnataka today, the Shiv Sena has once again advised its senior alliance partner both in Centre and the state to fight elections through ballot boxes at least once. Reacting to the saffron party’s stellar performance in the southern state, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was today quoted by ANI as saying, “Just one time, I want BJP to head into elections with ballot papers and not EVMs. All the apprehensions will go away”. The remark comes in the backdrop of several allegations of ‘EVM-tampering’ wherever BJP has won.
Last week too, Shiv Sena had accused BJP of rigging EVMs to win polls. It had also claimed that voters did not trust the current method of elections anymore. “(PM Narendra) Modi talks about Congress-mukt Bharat. But although the Congress is coming to an end, its thoughts are not dying. The BJP is trying to finish the Congress by imbibing the qualities of that party,” the Sena had said in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana.
In December last year, after the BJP did well in the Uttar Pradesh civic polls, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav had said that the saffron party’s winning percentage would fall if elections are held through ballot papers. “BJP says a total of 16 elections have been held in UP, out of which 14 were won by BJP, 2 by BSP and Congress-SP disappeared. We say that BJP’s winning percentage is 46 percent wherever polls were conducted via EVMs and 15 percent when it was done via ballot papers,” he had said in Kolkata.
BSP supremo Mayawati had also challenged the BJP to conduct polls through ballot papers. She had said that if the BJP claims that they enjoy the confidence of the people, then it must conduct elections through ballot paper and set aside EVMs. She had also said that if polls are held by ballot paper, BJP would not come to power.
The same year, the Election Commission had announced a hackathon, wherein all those who questioned the impartial functioning of EVMs were asked to come at its head office and check machines, which no party did. Uttarakhand High Court had stayed the commission’s EVM challenge calling it unconstitutional. It had observed that the poll body did not have any right to organise such challenges.