MUMBAI : BJP ally Shiv Sena and opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Tuesday raised doubts regarding electronic voting machines (EVMs) after the Karnataka Assembly election results were declared.
A vehement opponent of EVMs since long, MNS President Raj Thackeray gave a terse reaction on the Karnataka verdict: "This is the victory of EVMs.
"I congratulate all the winners in Karnataka, whether it is the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Congress," said Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray.
However, he said that since the mystery of the EVMs was not yet resolved, it was necessary to remove all doubts by going for ballot paper voting.
"If the BJP is so confident, then let it take a decision once and for all and announce ballot paper voting all over India. Even the Opposition shall be silenced," Thackeray said.
The NCP headed by Sharad Pawar wondered "how the BJP could get so many votes in those constituencies where it was very weak in Karnataka.
"This has raised doubts on the EVMs role. The Election Commission of India must take note of the people's fears about EVMs and go in for ballot paper voting. It may be a little time-consuming, but it will help clear all apprehensions. So the ECI must consider this," the NCP said.
Attacking the BJP, Uddhav added that "its horses win in the state elections but lose in all the bye-elections."
In this context, he asserted that the Sena candidate Shriniwas C. Vanga will win the upcoming May 28 Lok Sabha bye-polls in Palghar.
He said the BJP has won the state where it was not in power but the opinion of the people in the states which have experienced BJP rule may be different.
The Sena has been a vehement opponent of EVMs since long. After the Karnataka results, it has reiterated its proposal for a return to the traditional ballot paper voting.