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AAP moves HC against UT Mayoral poll results

🔴 The petitioners — Anju Katyal, Prem Lata and Ram Chander Yadav — have sought directions from the court to declare the election results for Chandigarh Mayor’s post illegal, and also directions to the State Election Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, and other official respondents to hold fresh elections for the post.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: January 18, 2022 12:01:00 am
The petition has been filed against the prescribed authority-cum-Deputy Commissioner-cum-Divisional Commissioner of Chandigarh Municipal Commissioner and others. (File)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Mayoral candidate, Anju Katyal, along with two others councilors, have moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, challenging the Chandigarh Mayoral poll results. The matter will come up for hearing before the High Court on January 19.

The petitioners — Anju Katyal, Prem Lata and Ram Chander Yadav — have sought directions from the court to declare the election results for Chandigarh Mayor’s post illegal, and also directions to the State Election Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, and other official respondents to hold fresh elections for the post. The petition has been filed against the prescribed authority-cum-Deputy Commissioner-cum-Divisional Commissioner of Chandigarh Municipal Commissioner and others.

The petition filed in the High Court pointed out that “various political atrocities were openly carried out at the behest of political big-wigs in Chandigarh, through misuse of concerned government administrative officers/respondents, to circumvent illegal results for the posts of Mayor, senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor in favour of the ruling party on January 8.”

The petition mentioned that the AAP secured 14 seats and became the largest party in the civic body elections. But the result did not go down well with the BJP who was in power in the civic corporation. The BJP then started indulging in horse-trading but failed to lure any candidate.

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“Being frustrated, BJP councillors then started indulging in other methods to alter the results in their favour, which included applying undue pressure on authorities of the Chandigarh administration,” alleged the petition.

The petition added that during the counting process it was learnt that one ballot slip had got torn at the left bottom corner. The “defect” was immediately “objected to” by the petitioners and other AAP councilors, before the presiding officer, who happens to be an elected BJP councilor himself. In total, eight votes were kept out of counting by the presiding officer for ‘defects’.

“AAP had clearly won by a margin of two votes, 11 votes falling into kitty of petitioner, Katyal of the AAP, and nine in favour of the BJP. It is highly pertinent that the entire election process had been videographed and from the videography, it is clearly visible that the prescribed authority had firstly taken into account the valid 20 votes and kept the defective votes aside, which were eight in number and had already been objected to by the representatives of the AAP as well as BJP…”, alleged the petition further.

The petitioners added the presiding officer and the prescribed authority-cum-Divisional Commissioner played another trick by arbitrarily starting to reconsider some of the eight ballot votes from the cancelled/rejected lot. The presiding officer even proceeded to declare a torn/mutilated voter slip cast in favour of the BJP candidate as good for counting. The counting continued and final tally headed for a tie with 14 votes each. The presiding officer then picked up one ballot slip/vote cast in favour of the AAP and cited a a mark on its backside without showing it and declared it as “cancelled”, leading to a BJP victory by 14-13.

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