The man who added fuel to the EVM tampering fire may have just lied. The Maharashtra election commissioner has nailed the lies of Shrikant Ganpat Shirsat who contested the BMC elections as an independent candidate. Shirsat had claimed that he voted for himself but still received zero votes in the elections and claimed that the electronic voting machines were rigged.
Punching a hole in his claims Maharashtra Deputy Election Commissioner Avinash T Sanas in a quote to The Indian Express has said that the candidate had enrolled himself as a voter from two booths and did receive 44 votes as against his claim of zero votes. "Shirsat secured a total of 44 votes from ward number 164. Out of the 44 votes, he got 11 votes at booth number 29 and two votes at booth number 15," the official is quoted as saying.
The 34-year-old Shirsat had claimed that despite himself, his family and neighbours voting for him, he did not receive any votes in the BMP election. He was contesting from ward number 164 in Saki Naka. His claims were used by political parties like the Aam Aadmi Party to allege EVM tampering. The local election body has now proved that his allegations were false.
Officials of the state election commission held that Shirsat in violation of rules had enrolled himself as a voter in two different booths and may have cast vote in booth number 29. Officials also claimed that in a complaint he had filed with the state election commission he had made no mention of not receiving any votes in the booth but instead had only expressed suspicion over EVM tampering. He had demanded a repoll. The report from IE states that Shirsat's name appears on the voters' list along with those of his mother and father for polling booth 29 while he has been registered as a voter at polling booth 15 along with his brother and sister.
The AAP even cited his example during their 'live EVM tampering' demonstration in the Delhi assembly on Tuesday. "When a candidate in the BMC polls pointed out that he did not get a single vote despite voting for himself, it made us think," said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. The Congress too had spoken of Shirsat's 'zero vote' claim when a delegation of its leaders approached the Election Commission of India alleging suspicion over EVM tampering.