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Maharashtra: Shiv Sena UBT’s Amol Kirtikar from Mumbai alleges election manipulation, files complaint with CEC, SEC

  • June 11, 2024
  • 5 min read
Maharashtra: Shiv Sena UBT’s Amol Kirtikar from Mumbai alleges election manipulation, files complaint with CEC, SEC

Late on June 10, 2024, by email and registered post, the Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate, Amol Kirtikar has challenged the election results declared by the ECI from Mumbai’s North West Constituency alleging largescale “manipulation and illegality in the election and counting process held on June 2024.” This communication complies with the seven day window granted to each candidate for this purpose as granted by the SC on April 26, 2024.

He has further stated that there is reason to believe that there has also been tampering with the Electronic Voting Machines. The successful candidate Mr. Ravindra Waikar has polled 4,52,644 votes and Kirtikar polled 4,52,596 votes. He is therefore at Serial No. 2, i.e. immediately behind the candidate declared winner. Kirtikar is also in the process of challenging the aforesaid election in Court.

Significantly, in this communication he has drawn attention to Paragraph 76 of the Judgement passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Association for Democratic Reforms VS Election Commission of India and Ors.  Copy of which is enclosed herewith. Paragraphs 76 (a) and 76 (b) of the said judgement are reproduced as under:-

76. Nevertheless, not because we have any doubt, but to only further strengthen the integrity of the election process, we are inclined to issue the following directions:

(a) On completion of the symbol loading process in the VVPATs undertaken on or after 01.05.2024, the symbol loading units shall be sealed and secured in a container. The candidates or their representatives shall sign the seal. The sealed containers, containing the symbol loading units, shall be kept in the strong room along with the EVMs at least for a period of 45 days post the declaration of results. They shall be opened, examined and dealt with as in the case of EVMs.

(b) The burnt memory/microcontroller in 5% of the EVMs, that is, the control unit, ballot unit and the VVPAT, per assembly constituency/assembly segment of a parliamentary constituency shall be checked and verified by the team of engineers from the manufacturers of the EVMs, post the announcement of the results, for any tampering or modification, on a written request made by candidates who are at SI.No.2 or Sl.No.3, behind the highest polled candidate. Such candidates or their representatives shall identify the EVMs by the polling station or serial number. All the candidates and their representatives shall have an option to remain present at the time of verification. Such a request should be made within a period of 7 days from the date of declaration of the result.


Kirtikar has therefore exercised his right towards “checking and verification of the burnt memory/microcontroller i.e. the control unit, ballot unit, the VVPAT, the microprocessor and the software loading unit by the team of engineers from the manufacturers of the EVMs.” He has also state dearly that he would like to remain present at the time of the aforesaid checking/verification.  Therefore, he has required adequate written notice in order to enable me or my representative to be physically present when the said checking/verification is scheduled to take place.

ECI Poll Results page showing difference in votes

Most significantly, and this is crucial to transparency activists and election watchers concerned that the election process is free and fair, Amol Kirtikar has also requested for a copy of the Technical SOPs issued by the Election Commission of India pursuant to specific directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court on 26 April 2024.

Whilst he and his team have accessed the Administrative SOP, the Technical SOP guaranteeing the integrity of the SLU (symbol loading unit) and microprocessor is not accessible on the ECI Website.  It is this SOP that will ensure and guarantee due observance of directives of the Supreme Court of India.  Interestingly, one of these Administrative SOPs was issued on April 29, 2024 after the first two phases of polling had already taken place, the second one is dated June 1, 2024 i.e. the last phase of polling.

Experts have told Sabrang India that the Administrative SOPs issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI) pursuant to extremely critical and contested proceedings before the Supreme Court of India (SCI) in no way strictly ensure that the storage of these units will be safe and secure. This issue could also be a matter of serious challenge in the near future.

Kirtikar has lodged a complaint on several counts even on the day of counting itself, i.e. June 04, 2024 and these issues will be subject matter of the election petition that is required to be filed within 45 days.

Kirtikar’s complaint to Returning Officer given on the day of polling, June 04 2024

Meanwhile media reports on June 10 that the Vanrai police are investigating allegations from losing candidate Amol Kirtikar that man close to his rival might be involved in foul play. A  “mysterious mobile phone” found on vote-counting day at the NESCO centre has kicked up a controversy, with the Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate, Amol Kirtikar, who lost by only 48 votes, accusing his rival, Shiv Sena MLA Ravindra Waikar, of manipulating poll results. An ECI staffer found in possession of the device, banned inside counting centres, is under scrutiny while police are scrutinising the phone’s call records.

Waikar won the hotly contested Mumbai North West seat by a mere 48 votes. According to Kirtikar, the voting was stopped by a representative inside the NESCO centre between 3.30 pm and 5.30 pm when he was leading by 651 votes. He alleged that the results were unaccountably then declared, stating that he had lost the contest by 48 votes.


SOP dated April 29, 2024

To read the ECI SOP dated June 1, 2024, Click Here

To read the full Supreme Court Judgement dated April 26, 2024, Click Here

To read Kirtikar’s letter to the Election Commission of India, demanding a probe into mysterious presence in the booth,  Click Here

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SabrangIndia is a website of a non-governmental collective that focuses on journalistic narratives that are missing from the 'mainstream'. Special emphasis on Gender, Dalit and Minority Rights issues.

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