The Assembly elections in Maharashtra are scheduled to be held in October this year.
New Delhi: The speculation of a grand alliance between Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and the Congress-NCP combination gained momentum on Monday after Raj Thackery met the UPA chairperson, Mrs Sonia Gandhi. Though officially the meeting was to discuss the issue of replacing EVMs with ballot papers, talks about the alliance cannot be ruled out. The Assembly elections in Maharashtra are scheduled to be held in October this year.
In the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections the MNS opted out of the electoral fray. But MNS chief Mr Raj Thackeray aggressively campaigned against the BJP and the Shiv Sena. He did not ask people to vote for the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party directly, but said, “Vote for those who will defeat BJP-Sena.”
In his April 6 rally, he even said, “What bad can Rahul Gandhi do by becoming Prime Minister? Narendra Modi has crossed all the limits with his worst administration. Nobody can go beyond that now.”
During the Lok Sabha elections Mr Raj Thackeray met with NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar several times.
If the alliance fructifies in the near future then it can give stiff challenge to the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government in the state. However, presently there is no clarity about the alliance.
Earlier on Monday, Mr Raj Thackeray met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and demanded that the Assembly polls in the state, due later this year, be conducted through paper ballots instead of electronic voting machines.
“There are doubts in the minds of voters that the votes they cast do not go to their chosen candidates. In such a scenario, the Election Commission should switch back to paper ballots and conduct the Maharashtra state polls through it. We strongly feel that the EVMs can be tampered with,” Mr Thackeray told reporters after the meeting.
He also cited media reports that there was a difference in the tally between the votes cast and votes counted in nearly 220 Lok Sabha constituencies.
The Congress in its AICC resolution has already stated that it prefers going back to the ballot paper system.