Opposition’s protest against EVMs futile: Prakash Ambedkar
Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi (VBA) chief Prakash Ambedkar has criticised the opposition parties’ proposed morcha against electronic voting machines (EVM’s) as an “aimless” and “futile” exercise. He also ruled out his participation in the protest.
Opposition parties – including the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) – have declared to hold a morcha in Mumbai on August 21, demanding scrapping of EVMs and reintroduction of ballot papers.
“Since most opposition political leaders are under pressure from various agencies, they are resorting to such tactics that will yield no results. I am on the right path as I have petitioned the [Bombay high] court that this was a faulty system and only that can give results,” said Ambedkar. The opposition parties lashed out at Ambedkar, saying it was clear that he was working towards helping the BJP indirectly. “It is a democracy and we need to educate the people and agitate. Ambedkar is very clear that he wants to help the BJP by not aligning with the opposition parties. He did the same during the Lok Sabha polls and because of him contesting independently, many opposition candidates lost. This ensured the one-side win of BJP-Shiv Sena,” said the leader of a major opposition party.
In the last few months, MNS chief Raj Thackeray has actively pursued this issue and urged several leaders to join the fight. Last month, he met Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. Recently, he met West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee who promised her support.