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Uddhav Thackeray expresses reservations about EVMs

Nagpur: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today expressed reservations about the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), saying that a citizen must know whether his or her vote has gone to the intended candidate.

Earlier in the day, Sena mouthpiece `Saamana’ had accused the ally BJP of rigging EVMs to win elections.

Thackeray today met Sena leaders from Vidarbha here to chalk out the party’s strategy for the coming Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing a press conference later, Thackeray, when asked about EVMs, said, “Today’s generation is voting through EVMs. They do not know what is a ballot paper.

“The RTI empowers a person with the right to information. But in the case of EVM, the right to know whether the vote one has cast has been rightly registered or not has been taken away. That right should be restored,” he said.

There have been cases where the wrong candidate or party got the vote after pressing the button, the Sena chief claimed.

Asked about the by-poll in Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha constituency, Thackeray said his party hasn’t yet decided whom it will support.

“Our decision to extend support in Bhandara-Gondia will depend on who supports our candidate in Palghar bypoll,” he said.

Thackeray also said Vidarbha needs development, and it won’t happen by only holding a session of the state legislature in Nagpur.

“Maharashtra should remain united and should not be split,” he said, referring to the demand for separate Vidarbha.

The Sena president demanded that “cases” should be filed against those demanding separate statehood for Vidarbha.

On the issue of demand for relocating the Nanar oil refinery project to Vidarbha from Konkan, Thackeray said if the people of Vidarbha wanted the project if the land was available and if it was going to develop the region, then there should be no objection to the project shifting to Vidarbha from Ratnagiri.

Meanwhile, a senior Sena leader said that Thackeray had given indications that the party may take on senior BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on his home turf.

“Uddhav-ji, by taking a review of party’s preparedness to contest the Nagpur Lok Sabha seat in 2019, has given indications that the Sena intends to take on Gadkari on his home turf,” the leader said.

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