Maharashtra NCP chief Jayant Patil on Friday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the BJP’s Lok Sabha victory, but also called for a permanent solution to EVM-related issues to ensure poll transparency. Also Read - Maharashtra Reports 920 Deaths, Highest in 24 Hours; Over 57K New Infections

Patil, a former Maharashtra minister, said people would lose faith in the election process in the absence of such transparency. Also Read - Centre Faces Tough Question as Pressure Mounts to Impose Full Lockdown in India to Beat COVID Surge

Patil’s comments come a day after NCP president Sharad Pawar on Thursday said he accepted the mandate gracefully and that he would not blame the EVMs following the result. Also Read - Maharashtra Records Sharp Fall in COVID-19 Cases, Positivity Rate Declines

“Several instances of EVMs related irregularities have come to the fore. There is a need to find a permanent solution to this. People will lose faith in the election process in case it is not transparent,” Patil said.

“The people are sovereign, supreme in democracy. We accept the mandate given by the people. Congratulations to Narendra Modi for registering incredible victory by securing public mandate,” he tweeted.

“Several attempts were made to hurt India’s Constitution, secularism and cultural diversity in the last five years,” Patil tweet further claimed.

He said the NCP had hoped to win 9 to 12 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, but could bag only four, apart from one in Lakshadweep.

Spearheaded by Modi, the NDA returned to power, with the BJP alone winning over 300 seats.

The opposition Congress emerged victorious in just 52 seats.

Patil claimed his party is geared up to dislodge the “anti-people” BJP-Shiv Sena combine from power in Maharashtra, where Assembly polls are due later this year.