Mumbai, Jun 1: After facing defeat against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Palghar by-election, Shiv Sena said the outcome is the beginning of its winning streak. In an editorial of its mouthpiece Saamana, Shiv Sena vowed to win Palghar parliamentary seat in Lok Sabha elections to be held in 2019. Shiv Sena said it wasn’t defeated by the BJP, but Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and termed Kairana by-election result as a massive defeat of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

“The BJP had to face a big loss in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Maharashtra Chief Minister says BJP will win Bhandara–Gondiya seat next year. We say Shiv Sena will emerge victorious in Palghar in 2019,” Shiv Sena said on Friday in Saamana editorial. BJP retained the Palghar Lok Sabha seat where its candidate Rajendra Gavit won the bypolls. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) bagged the prestigious Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha seat, snatching it from BJP.

Taking on technical glitches in EVMs during bypolls, Shiv Sena said the contest was supposed to be between BJP and them. “But Shiv Sena contested against faulty EVMs,” it said, accusing BJP of using power muscles to win Palgahr seat. “Therefore, Election Commission, police departments and EVMs should celebrate the Palghar victory,” it added. Sena also said the defeat in Palghar is an outcome of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ poll-eve statement on ‘Saam, Daam, Dand and Bhed’.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday called Election Commission a “corrupt body” responsible for the mess in the conduct of elections in the country. Addressing the media, Thackeray alleged that large-scale manipulations are being carried out in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with the knowledge of the EC officials. “The elections and the vote-counting in Palghar was a total farce. After the elections, how did the voting percentage shoot up by nearly 100,000 votes overnight? We want proof of this… There was a fraud,” Thackeray said.

Targeting the EC, he said now all the political parties must move court against the poll panel and its functioning which has raised doubts in the minds of people. He questioned whether the Chief Election Commissioner “has control over the election machinery” in the country, and pointed to how EVMs suddenly fail midway in the election process, why there are discrepancies in the counting and other issues.