Keep close watch on EVMs during polling: NCP chief Sharad Pawar tells partymen

Source: PTI | Published on 14th March 2019, 1:07 PM | National News | Don't Miss |

THANE: NCP chief Sharad Pawar Wednesday asked his party workers to keep a close watch on the EVMs during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

He said despite putting in a lot of efforts, many times the candidates are not able to win the election due to EVM tampering.

"Despite putting in a lot of efforts, candidates get defeated only due to the tampering of the EVMs. During the Bhandara Gondia LS bypoll, 700 EVMs were found to be malfunctioning. It was brought to the notice, following which the EVMs were changed and polling time was also extended due to which (NCP candidate Madhukar) Kukde won the seat," Pawar said.

He was addressing the party workers in Thane via video-conferencing from Mumbai.

The former Union minister said the party workers should keep a close watch on the EVMs.

"Due to the EVM tampering, we might get defeated. Therefore, you should visit the polling booths around 6 am on the day of polling and check the machines," the veteran politician told the party cadres.

He demanded that 50 per cent of the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips should be counted.

Coming down heavily on the BJP government saying it gave false assurances and failed on all the fronts.

"There has been no progress on the memorials of Chhatrapati Shivaji and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. There was a big announcement of Samruddi Mahamarg, but land is yet to be acquired for it. Wherever land acquisition was completed, proper compensation was not paid. The promise of reservation given to the Dhanghar community has not not been fulfilled," he said.

Slamming the Modi government over demonetisation, he said, "Around 100 people lost their lives during the exercise by standing in bank queues. Modi promised to give jobs, but due to note ban, over 15 lakh people lost their jobs. In the last four years, as many as 11,998 farmers have committed suicide," he said.

Promises of waiving farm loans were made, but 50 per cent farmers are yet to get the benefit, he said.

Pawar also called for a probe into the Rafale fighter jets deal saying, "The Rafale aircraft is now being purchased at Rs 1,660 crore each by this government, which is a much higher rate than what was decided in 2007. Hence, an inquiry into the Rafale deal should be carried out on the lines of the Bofors," he said.

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