Amid allegations that electronic voting machines (EVM) were rigged prior to the civic polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rubbished the idea, saying the losing parties must accept their defeat gracefully.
Losing candidates in places such as Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Amravati alleged that the machines were manipulated to suit the ruling parties. The candidates have demanded that the Election Commission switch back to the ballot paper system as they suspect that the EVMs had been tampered with.
In Amravati, all the major political parties announced a bandh on Tuesday, staging protests across the state.
In the case of Shrikant Shirsat, who contested the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections from ward 164 in Sakinaka as an independent, he did not get a single vote. “This clearly indicates that the EVM machines were tampered with as my family voted for me. I voted for myself. However, the machines still shows that I got zero votes,” said Shirsat.
Pune-based Ravi Ghate has started a helpline to register complaints against EVMs.
At Colaba, former Congress corporator Vinod Shekhar was shocked as his wife Sushma came third in ward 226, despite being a sitting corporator. Vinod had lodged a case challenging his defeat in the 2012 BMC polls, in which he has alleged that rigged EVMs led to his defeat. The case is pending in court. “The BJP is a master manipulator. There was no way we could have been defeated in a Congress stronghold,” said Vinod.