Kolkata, Aug 01: In order to strengthen the nationwide campaign against the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and press for the reintroduction of paper ballots in every elections, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray met Chief minister Mamata Banerjee here yesterday and sought her full cooperation and support to ‘reinforce the campaign’.
Discussing his plan to hold a massive rally in Mumbai on 21 August to press for the demand in association with several other like minded parties, Raj Thackeray also requested the Chief minister to attend the rally to uphold the cause which she had also been advocating from the beginning.
Though Mamata Banerjee extended her full support to the demand as well as to the proposed rally, she expressed her inability to attend the gathering personally because of her other urgent engagements.
The MNS chief who arrived in Kolkata on a day’s visit, called on the Chief Minister at her office at Nabanna,the state Secretariat, and discussed the issue for more than an hour as well as the outcome of Lok Sabha election results both in West Bengal and in Maharashtra where BJP had clinched majority of seats.
‘Later briefing newsmen about his meeting with Mamata Banerjee, the first since he took over as the MNF chief, Raj Thackeray said he came here to meet Mamata Didi and discuss the issues regarding EVMs and VVPATs and the possibility of return to ballot paper elections.
‘As one of the senior most political leaders in the country Mamata Didi has been working tirelessly to save democracy and the democratic institutions of the country’, Thackeray said and hoped that UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi,her son Rahul Gandhi and several other national Opposition leaders would participate in the 21 August rally in Mumbai to give further momentum to the united efforts.
It may be recalled that from the platform of this year’s Martyrs rally of Trinamool Congress here on 21 July the Chief minister gave a clarion call to all opposition leaders in the country to come under one banner to press for the demand for the return of voting through ballot papers only and rejecting the use of EVMs lock stock and barrel because of some alleged systematic faults in most of the machines.