Sanjay Nirupam seeks apology from Rahul Gandhi, Aaditya Thackeray over false EVM claims

17 June,2024 06:23 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

Sanjay Nirupam said the English daily accepted the inaccuracy of the news story and that he expected similar accountability from Rahul Gandhi, Aaditya Thackeray & others.

Sanjay Nirupam. File Pic

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Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Nirupam, on Monday, demanded that Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA Aaditya Thackeray apologise for circulating "false" information regarding EVMs based on a news story.

On Sunday, a political scandal arose over suspicions of EVM manipulation, with Gandhi, Thackeray, and other opposition figures all citing a media story. This story claimed that a relative of Shiv Sena's Mumbai North West Lok Sabha candidate Ravindra Waikar was spotted using a cell phone "connected" to an EVM during vote counting on June 4, reported PTI.

Per the news agency report, the article alleged that Waikar's relative used a phone to "unlock" an electronic voting machine (EVM) during the vote count. The returning officer for the constituency, Vandana Suryavanshi, called the allegation "false news" and issued a defamation notice to the publication. She clarified that EVMs are standalone systems, non-programmable, and lack wireless communication capabilities.

Waikar won the Mumbai North-West seat with 48 votes over Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate Amol Kirtikar. Nirupam told reporters that the English daily accepted the inaccuracy of the news story, reported PTI.

According to the report, Nirupam stated, "I urge for a similar accountability from Rahul Gandhi, (lawyer) Prashant Bhushan, and other leaders of the opposition INDIA bloc for amplifying the misinformation. Aaditya Thackeray used the same news to perpetuate a false narrative, which has had significant repercussions. Now, they all should tender an apology."

Nirupam voiced concern about allegations of EVM tampering. He said that an announcement of Kirtikar's victory was made before the counting process was completed, implying an intentional attempt to discredit Waikar and the Shiv Sena, led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the report added.

Per the report, Nirupam also demanded an apology from Shiv Sena (UBT) mouthpiece 'Saamana', which published similar "false news" about the Mumbai North West seat result. He stated he would escalate the matter to the Press Council of India if necessary.

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