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Raj Thackeray attacks state election commission

Tuesday January 24, 2012 05:37:44 PM, IANS

Mumbai: Hinting at "partiality" by the state election commission (SEC), Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray Tuesday hit out at the panel saying it was expected to be "neutral" in the upcoming civic elections in the state.

"The state election commission must behave like one so that suspicions are not raised in our minds," Thackeray told mediapersons here Tuesday afternoon.

He reiterated his party's demand for simultaneous counting of votes polled in the Zilla Parishad elections (Feb 7) followed by the municipal corporation elections (Feb 16).

"Don't we even have the right to ask them a question on any issue which concerns us? What kind of democracy is this," Thackeray asked.

His reaction apparently came in retaliation to the snub by SEC Neela Satyanarayan last week in Nagpur when she said that if he or anybody else had any problems with the functioning of the SEC "they are free to approach the courts".

She added that all decisions are taken only after considering all aspects and lowering the dignity of the constitutional body like SEC was tantamount to insulting "the people of Maharashtra".

Thackeray said that while rejecting the demand for simultaneous counting of polls, the SEC had given a pathetic reason that there was shortage of electronic voting machines.

"If this creates any doubts in our minds, can't we express it? If the SEC behaves like SEC, then such doubts would not arise," he said.

Hinting at 'partiality' on the part of SEC, Thackeray said that when Nationalist Congress Party leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar committed a breach of the election code of conduct, he was forgiven. "Will the SEC do the same for any other party for such lapses," Thackeray asked.

Besides MNS, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena have also demanded simultaneous counting of the votes for 27 ZP and nine top municipal corporations going to the polls next month.




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