Thane: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chief Raj Thackeray Saturday said that the mood of voters in Gujarat is against the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and if it crosses 150 seats in the state it should be considered a miracle by the EVMs.
"The recent trends as well as reports indicate that the ruling party is likely to lose the elections," Raj Thackeray said, according to PTI.
"Some visuals of Modi's public meetings are doing the round, which show that people are leaving the venue in groups during his address, which had never happened in the past. Even from this, one gets a message," he said.
"Despite this, if the BJP gets more than 150 seats, it should be considered a miracle by the electronic voting machines (EVMs)", he said.
Polling for the 182-member Assembly in Gujarat will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14, and the results will be declared on December 18.
Thackeray also alleged that the Election Commission had "inordinately" delayed the announcement of Gujarat election dates under a lot of pressure.
"The Election Commission and other statutory bodies should work independently. But it does not happen here," he said.
Allegations that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) have been manipulated with were also raised in the past, especially after the state election in Uttar Pradesh and civic elections in Mumbai and Pune.
The Election Commission of India claims its EVMs are "impossible" to get manipulated. However, owing to these allegations the Congress and other parties have demanded installation of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in all polling booths.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) A. K. Joti had earlier said as many as 55,000 polling stations will be set up for the assembly elections in Gujarat that has 43.3 million voters, all EVMs will be equipped with VVPAT.
“Gujarat is the first large state where an entire assembly poll will be conducted using the EVMs (electronic voting machines) equipped with VVPAT,” Gujarat chief electoral officer (CEO) B.B. Swain said.
"These VVPAT machines will allow voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate, ensuring transparency in the voting process", he added.
Meanwhile, All-India Congress Committee secretary Prakash Joshi has filed a petition in Supreme Court with a request to "issue direction” to the Election Commission of India “to install CCTV cameras inside the polling booth in Gujarat to watch the mobility of persons” and display the videograph along with “the number of votes polled outside on a display board.”
The Supreme Court will hear the petition on November 30.