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Maharashtra CM demands ECI action against Shiv Sena chief for ‘distorting facts’

Uddhav Thackeray had released audio clip in which Fadnavis was heard asking BJP workers to ‘use all means’ to win the Palghar bypoll

mumbai Updated: May 28, 2018 15:32 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Devendra Fadnavis,Uddhav Thackeray
Chief Minister Fadnavis accused Thackeray of “insulting the election process”.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is in the eye of the storm due to a controversial audio clip in which he is heard exhorting BJP workers to “use all means” to win the Palghar bypoll, has demanded that the Election Commission of India (ECI) take action against Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray for “distorting facts”.

The Sena chief released the audio clip on Friday. On Saturday, Fadnavis released the entire 14-minute audio clip accusing the Sena of twisting and “selectively editing” the audio clip.

Speaking to the media on Sunday, Fadnavis accused Thackeray of “insulting the election process”. “I have submitted the 14-minute audio clip to the Election Commission. I have requested the ECI that if they feel I have done something wrong, they should take action against me. If not, then those who have deliberately edited the audio clip, action should be taken against them,” said Fadnavis.

The CM said that the audio clip was from a speech he had given when addressing approximately 1,500 BJP workers regarding the Palghar polls.

Meanwhile, Thackeray also adopted an aggressive stance. “We have also approached the Election Commission and anyone who is guilty should be punished. The chief minister has agreed that it is his voice and our focus is on the thrust of the speech,” he said.

The Palghar bypoll, which was necessitated following the death of BJP MP Chintaman Wanga, has now become a matter of prestige for BJP. This is the first time Sena has fielded its candidate for a seat held by its ally BJP since they formed the government in the state. Its candidate is Shrinivas Wanga, son of the late BJP MP Chintaman. Both Fadnavis and Thackeray ran a high voltage campaign for their respective candidates.

First Published: May 28, 2018 14:53 IST