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Just beginning of big win in 2019, says Shiv Sena, day after losing to BJP in Palghar bypoll

Sena blames EC, EVMs for BJP’s win, says Palghar was the BJP’s only victory in bypolls held on May 28, in Saamana editorial

mumbai Updated: Jun 01, 2018 17:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Palghar bypoll,Shiv Sena,BJP
BJP supporters celebrate after winning Palghar Lok Sabha bypoll.(Mangesh Lad)

A day after the Shiv Sena lost the Palghar Lok Sabha bypoll, it said it had contested the by-election with “strength” and “self-respect”, and that the results were just the beginning of a “big win” in the 2019 polls.

It was the first time that the Sena fielded a candidatefor a seat held by its ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which won the Palghar seat by a margin of around 30,000 votes. Earlier this year, the Sena declared that it would not enter into an alliance with the BJP, and would contest all elections on its own.

On Thursday, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had refused to call the Palghar results a defeat for his party. He blamed the malfunctioning Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines, as well as the Election Commission for not acting upon cash-for-vote complaints against BJP workers for the BJP’s Rajendra Gavit winning the seat.

On Friday, in an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, the party said: “Whoever wants to analyse the poll results are free to do so, but for us, this is the beginning of the big win in 2019.” The explanation is: “Barring the win in Palghar, which the BJP achieved with the help of EVMs, the BJP has been rejected by the people of the country in all other Lok Sabha and Assembly by-polls held on May 28,” it stated.

Pointing fingers at the election process, the editorial in the Marathi daily said 50,000 to 60,000 voters could not cast their votes in Palghar because of “scrap” EVMs and VVPAT machines. “These voters stood in queue, but could not vote. This BJP ploy of sending back voters helped it win,” the Sena claimed, also alleging that voter turnout percentage was increased from 46% to 53% in under 12 hours.

If there is a BJP procession to celebrate its victory in Palghar, the Election Commission, the police machinery and EVMs should be a part of it, the editorial said.

First Published: Jun 01, 2018 15:57 IST