KOLKATA: MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Wednesday endorsed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's demand to replace EVMs by ballot papers and said the Trinamool Congress supremo has assured him of her support in his party's fight to save the democracy.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena supremo said he came to Kolkata to invite Banerjee to attend an anti-EVM rally in Maharashtra on August 21.
The TMC supremo, however, said she would not be able to participate in the rally because of some pre-scheduled engagements.
"I've come here to invite Mamata ji for a rally scheduled in Maharashtra on August 21 to demand bringing back ballots in place of EVMs. This will be an anti-EVM movement. She is one of the key leaders in the country, voicing concern against EVMs," Thackeray told reporters, with Banarjee by his side.
The MNS chief said Banerjee assured him that she would support his party to "save the democracy".
Thackeray also referred to his visits to the Election Commission to demand reintroduction of ballots in elections.
"The situation which has emerged is not right. There were at least 370 constituencies in the country where there were problems regarding EVMs during the elections," he said.
"When most of the countries across the world have stopped using the EVMs, why are we (India) using it?" asked Thackeray.
Asked if the rally scheduled in Maharashtra would be an anti-Modi move, Thackeray said, "This is not an anti-Modi rally but an anti-EVM one. But if it develops into an anti-Modi movement, there is no problem."
Banerjee endorsed Thackeray's remarks and asked why was India still using voting machines when countries like the USA and Japan have stopped using them after coming to know of their drawbacks.
Raising doubts over authenticity of polling through EVMs, the chief minister said one particular party predicted even the seat it would win in the election much before the polling.
Banerjee recalled that the TMC along with 23 other political parties had approached both the Election Commission and the Supreme Court against the use of EVMs in the elections but their complaints were dismissed.