Lok Sabha elections 2024 | 48-vote case: Ravindra Waikar kin booked for counting day breach

14 June,2024 06:48 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Shirish Vaktania

Election portal operator who gave him his phone to use has also been named in FIR; police to examine CCTV footage

Shiv Sena candidate Ravindra Waikar after being declared the winner on June 4. Pic/Satej Shinde

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Key Highlights

The Vanrai police have registered an FIR against Mangesh Vasant Pandilkar, a relative of Ravindra Waikar - the Shiv Sena candidate who won the Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat by 48 votes - for allegedly using a mobile phone inside the centre in Goregaon where votes were being counted on June 4. The cops also booked Dinesh Gurav, an ENCORE (poll portal) operator with the Election Commission (EC), for allegedly giving his device to Pandilkar.

After Waikar defeated Sena (UBT) candidate Amol Kirtikar by a razor-thin margin, the latter wrote to the police seeking a recount of votes. He also stated that he would file an election petition in court for the same. The complainant in the case is Suchitra Krunal Amle Patil, who is an additional assistant election adjudicating officer. She was deployed at the NESCO centre in Goregaon for counting-related work. On June 4, Patil received a complaint that a mobile phone was found inside the centre, which is a strict no-no.

Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate Amol Kirtikar at NESCO centre on counting day. Pic/Satej Shinde; (right) Shiv Sena leader Ravindra Waikar at his office in Jogeshwari. Pic/Atul Kamble

Candidates Surendra Arora and Bharat Khimji Saha also submitted a written complaint about Pandilkar's alleged violation. Only ENCORE operators, returning officers and a few other EC officials are allowed to take their mobile phones inside centres during the counting of votes.

According to the police official, in her complaint, Patil informed the cops that Gurav gave his mobile phone to Pandilkar inside the NESCO centre despite being aware of the rules.


A police officer said, "We have requested CCTV footage from the returning officer of the Election Commission. We will check call records to see whom Pandilkar had called and for what purpose. The reason why he was using the mobile phone inside the centre will also be ascertained. We will also arrest Pandilkar and Gurav for violating EC rules and guidelines during the counting of votes."

Gurav was allowed to use a mobile phone inside the NESCO centre to generate the OTP to start the voting process in the system. The cops registered the FIR against Pandilkar and Gurav under Sections 188 and 134 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 134 in The Representation of the People Act.

Kirtikar's reaction

Reacting to the development, Kirtikar said, "I was not present when the person was caught with a mobile phone. I demanded video footage of the centre in writing and on Friday, the collector replied, refusing to do so. I will go to court for the footage. I suspected that manipulation was also done inside the centre and this should be investigated. This mobile phone raises many questions."

Votes polled by Amol Kirtikar

Ravindra Waikar's vote count

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Shiv Sena maharashtra mumbai mumbai news Lok Sabha Elections 2024 India General Elections 2024
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