Sanjay Raut accuses election commission of bias amid voting slowdown


PTI, May 21, 2024, 12:47 PM IST

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Tuesday claimed the Election Commission was an ”extended branch of the BJP” and the voting process in Maharashtra’s 13 Lok seats was slow wherever the MVA candidates were expecting a good turnout.

Talking to reporters, Raut also claimed the election was seamless in areas where the possibility of the ruling BJP or its allies getting votes was more.

An average turnout of 54.33 per cent was recorded after voting on Monday in the 13 Lok Sabha constituencies, including six in Mumbai, during the fifth and final phase of general elections in the state, as per poll authorities.

The final figures will be declared later, an official from the state CEO’s office said on Tuesday.

The six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai recorded an average turnout of 52.27 per cent, compared to 55.38 per cent in the 2019 general elections.

Raut claimed wherever the Shiv Sena (UBT) or MVA was expecting good votes, there was snail-paced election. ”The Election Commission is an extended branch of the BJP,” he further claimed.

The polling process was messed up in Thane and Kalyan where there was a possibility of the Shiv Sena (UBT) getting more votes, the Rajya Sabha member said.

At some booths in Mumbra (in Thane district), only 11 votes could be cast in one hour and this was due to the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP’s fear of losing, he claimed.

The mess in the polling process was to desist the electors from voting as the EVMs could not be hacked and money could not be distributed, the Rajya Sabha member charged.

While such attempts of slowing down the poll process were made till the very last minute, there was no affect on the voters, he said.

”It was the last ditch attempt by the BJP to save itself,” he claimed.

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