Uddhav Thackeray urges EC to bar PM, CMs from holding election rallies

Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday urged the Election Commission (EC) to bar the prime minister and chief ministers from holding poll campaign rallies to ensure a level playing field for various political parties.

“The PM and CMs make all kinds of announcements while holding election rallies. When the party in power makes promises, it weighs heavy on the minds of people compared to the assurances given by the leaders of other political parties,” Thackeray said, addressing a rally here in a run-up to the Panvel municipal corporation polls.

Thackeray accused the functionaries of ruling parties not meeting their poll promises later. He said that while CM Devendra Fadnavis announced a package of Rs6,500 crore for Kalyan-Dombivali municipal corporation and PM Narendra Modi announced Rs1.25 lakh crore for Bihar, not a rupee was given after the elections.

Thackeray also said that after India’s surgical strike against Pakistan, the neighbouring nation has conducted several strikes on the Indian territory. “There is fresh news now that another Indian has been arrested… again false cases will be filed and he will be hanged. Why is Pakistan not scared of you?” he questioned.

The PM should be thinking how to make the nation stronger rather than strengthening his party, and similarly, the CM, instead of going to every nook and corner for holding rallies, should be mulling ways to improve farmers’ plight and the law and order situation of the state, Thackeray said.

Taking a dig at EC for challenging political parties to hack their electronic voting machines (EVMs), Thackeray said if parties had the intelligence to hack EVMs, they would not hold election campaigns.

“This is like somebody goes to police to complain of theft in his house and police ask them to prove their house has been robbed. It is your duty to ensure EVMs are not tampered with, and so you (EC) should check your machines not us,” he said.

Responding to the rumours of a mid-term poll in the state in wake of an internal survey predicting two third majority for the BJP, Thackeray said a survey should instead be done on the problems being faced by the people.

Thackeray said in Tamil Nadu bypoll after late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s death, a BJP worker complained of money being distributed and the entire election got postponed. “Here too we want this to happen… if anybody gets caught distributing money, polls should be postponed,” he said.

First Published: Sun, May 21 2017. 10 41 PM IST