Mumbai, (The Hindu): Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has said his party will contest future elections independently.
Speaking after the results to the Palghar bypoll were announced on Thursday, the Sena chief said the party has accepted the verdict given by the voters, but does not accept it as a defeat.
Reflection of anger
“This was by no means a defeat because it was a reflection of the palpable public anger. Of the 8.87 lakh voters, about 6.97 lakh have turned the BJP down. This was a narrow win for them,” he said. Hitting out at the Election Commission (EC) for failing to take a stand over the electronic voting machines (EVMs), Mr. Thackeray asked why the machines were brought from Gujarat.
“The failure of EVMs at the time of polling has not only hurt the image of the EC, but marred the democratic process. The delay left thousands of voters frustrated, who were not able to exercise their franchise. One wonders if future poll could even be conducted on these EVMs,” he said.
The Sena leader blamed the BJP for the use of money and muscle power. In reference to a BJP worker caught distributing money to voters, Mr. Thackeray said those who distributed money are the ones who are celebrating the victory.
“BJP candidate Rajendra Gavit even wrote to the Collector to increase the voting timing. I have a copy of his letter. The voter count for him has since increased by a lakh. How did that happen?” Mr. Thackeray said.
Over the decision to contest polls alone, the Sena chief said it was pre-decided. “We gave the BJP a good fight in Palghar. We had previously declared going solo.”
The Sena chief congratulated the people of Uttar Pradesh for defeating the BJP, while delivering a blow to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. “The people of U.P. have taught a big lesson to Mr. Adityanath. Earlier he lost Phulpur and Gorakhpur by-elections, and now Kairana,” he said. Mr. Thackeray slammed the U.P. CM for wearing chappals when garlanding the statute of Shivaji Maharaj.
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