Shiv Sena targets BJP over Karnataka poll dates leak, says 'pillars of our democracy are being desecrated'

Mumbai: In a vitriolic attack on the BJP over the alleged leak of Karnataka poll dates, the Shiv Sena on Thursday said the pillars of democracy were being "desecrated".

It also accused the Election Commission (EC) of working under pressure from the government, and sought to know if the poll panel had decided to function as per the "suitability of the BJP".

The Sena's remarks come in the wake of the controversy over a tweet by the BJP's IT cell chief announcing the Karnataka Assembly poll date before an official declaration by the EC.

File image of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

File image of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

"It was believed that the Election Commission would be impartial, however, it is not so, (this) has been proved in the run up to the Karnataka polls," it said.

"The EC is working under pressure from the government, is what the Opposition claims and it has been proven true by the BJP," the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana.

Ahead of the official announcement of Karnataka poll dates on Tuesday by Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat, the BJP IT cell chief, Amit Malviya, had tweeted that voting will be held on 12 May and the counting will take place on 18 May.

He was correct about the day of the voting, but got the counting date wrong. The counting will take place on 15 May.

The Sena said, "Somebody called Amit Malviya from the BJP's IT cell released the election date even before the EC could announce it."

"Is it that the information was leaked through somebody or is it that the EC has decided to work as per the suitability of the BJP?" the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.

The former heads of the EC are now being given Rajya Sabha tickets, made ministers, and allotted gubernatorial posts and it was not a sign of them being impartial, the Sena said, taking a dig at its senior ally.

Citing the demonetisation decision, it said the government's move to scrap the high value currency notes was a complete failure, and that a report on it was published in a newspaper in Gujarat even before the decision was actually announced.

Bundles of cash were made white by industrialists due to the leak of the note ban decision, the Sena alleged, adding that it was the common man who was made to struggle in queues outside banks for hours on end.

"In such situations, is there any respect left for constitutional posts?" it asked, adding that "the pillars of our democracy are being desecrated."

"The electronic voting machines (EVMs) had already ended the trust in the EC. The Karnataka issue has finished whatever trust was left," said the Sena, which is an alliance partner of the ruling BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra.

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Updated Date: Mar 29, 2018 12:58:47 IST

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