Mumbai, June 4: The Maharashtra Congress on Monday said it will lodge a complain with the Election Commission (EC) alleging misuse of power and violations of the election code of conduct by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, five days after Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray termed the Palghar Lok Sabha bypolls “a farce”. Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant and other leaders will meet Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat in New Delhi on Tuesday morning with their plea. They plan to apprise him of how Fadnavis had repeatedly violated the election model code of conduct and misused government machinery in the May 28 by-elections that were held in Palghar besides Bhandara-Gondiya (both in Maharashtra). “Was the entire election machinery working under the pressures of the Chief Minister, this is the suspicion that has arisen out of the situation during the election process,” Sawant said.
He pointed out that during the elections, the Congress complained to the Returning Officers several times regarding this but no action was taken against them by the EC. The Congress delegation plans to submit a memorandum to the CEC on these issues which have raised serious doubts in the minds of the people, he added. On May 31, Thackeray had charged that large-scale manipulations were carried out in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with the knowledge of the EC officials.
Accusing the EC of becoming a “corrupt body” and a puppet in the hands of the ruling party, the Sena chief directly questioned whether the CEC had any “control over the election machinery”. In the two Lok Sabha bypolls in the state, the Bharatiya Janata Party retained the Palghar seat trouncing the main Sena rival, but it lost the Bhandara-Gondiya seat to the Nationalist Congress Party. (IANS)