LS polls: Somaiya accuses Sena (UBT) leaders of corrupt practices; Uddhav’s party dismisses charge


PTI, May 20, 2024, 2:10 PM IST

Kirit Somaiya (Credit: PTI / File)

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya on Monday alleged that Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders Sanjay Raut and Sunil Raut were found involved in ”corrupt practices” outside their polling booth at Bhandup in Mumbai where voting was underway since morning.

The former MP also claimed that two activists of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) were arrested for ”illegal and corrupt practices of using a fake EVM”.

However, MLA Sunil Raut, who is the brother of Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut, dismissed the allegations saying a dummy electronic voting machine (EVM) was kept outside the 100-metre radius of the polling booth for educational purpose. Still, the police removed it under ”political pressure”, he claimed.

The area falls under the Mumbai North East Lok Sabha constituency, where the BJP has fielded MLA Mihir Kotecha against Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate Sanjay Dina Patil.

Polling was underway on Monday in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies of Maharashtra, including six in Mumbai, in the fifth and last phase of general elections in the state.

In a post on X, Somaiya alleged, ”Sanjay Raut and Sunil Raut were found involved in Corrupt Practices outside their Polling Station at Bhandup Gaon. 2 Uddhav Thackeray Sena Activists arrested by Police for illegal, corrupt practices of using Fake EVM Machine with name of Sanjay Dina Patil and MASHAL (symbol). FiR being registered.”

”Kanjur Police Station DETAINED 2 Uddhav Thackeray Sena’s Gundas from BMC Maidan Polling Station of Bhandup Gaon. They found involved in malpractices/corrupt practices at the polling station,” the BJP leader claimed.

However, Sunil Raut told reporters that a dummy EVM was kept outside the 100-metre mandatory radius of the polling booth. It was there for educational purpose, for the people who do not know how to cast their vote.

”However, the local police came under political pressure of the current dispensation and detained our workers,” he claimed.

He warned of a huge protest if their party’s three workers were not released.

”The BJP has realised that it is losing this seat, hence it is using the police force to put pressure on us,” he claimed.

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