MNS Chief Raj Thackeray meets TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee calls for return of ballot boxes

File photo of Raj Thackeray. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team Kolkata Jul 31, 2019, 10.19 PM (IST) Written By: Pooja Mehta

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray met Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Wednesday and called for the return of ballot boxes.

Thackeray on a two-day visit to Kolkata met Banerjee on the second day at the Bengal state secretariat – Nabanna and his meeting lasted for around half an hour with her.

Thackeray called for the return of ballot boxes in the elections. “We discussed electoral reforms in the meeting. We want the elections to be conducted in ballot boxes. When most countries have done away with the EVMs, we are still using it. Questions are being raised on the credibility of EVMs,” said Thackeray.

He added, “We want the Maharashtra Assembly elections to be conducted through the ballot boxes instead of the EVMs.” Asked on whether he will move court demanding ballot boxes he said, “I have no faith in the High Court and Supreme Court.”

The MNS chief stated that he came to Kolkata to also invite the TMC supremo Mamata for a ‘Save Democracy’ programme to be held in Maharashtra on August 21. 

“I came here to invite her. We want her to attend the programme. We want other regional parties to also join us in our demand for ballot boxes,” he added.

However, Banerjee said that she was yet to confirm whether she will be able to attend the program or not considering her prior commitments.

“We had fruitful discussions over our demand of ballot boxes. Earlier, Thackeray has met the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in Delhi and he has discussed it with the senior leaders of Congress as well. We had also demanded the elections be conducted in ballot boxes. Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, we had approached the Election Commission of India (ECI) and Supreme Court raising similar demands. But, our plea was rejected. Elections through ballot boxes will be free and fair,” said Banerjee.

Story highlights

Thackeray on a two-day visit to Kolkata met Banerjee on the second day at the Bengal state secretariat – Nabanna and his meeting lasted for around half an hour with her.