SENIOR LAWYER R K Anand’s defeat in the Rajya Sabha election from Haryana came as a shock for not only Anand but even the victor, media baron Subhash Chandra, who claims he was surprised at the result.
Chandra, an Independent candidate backed by the BJP, was in fact so certain of defeat when the Congress MLAs trooped in to cast their vote that he “went out from the booth”, he told The Indian Express Tuesday.
Asked whether he rejects allegations raised by Anand, including the charge that wrong pen was used by people who wanted Chandra to win, Chandra texted back: “I only know one thing, that when Congress MLAs came to vote, I conceded defeat and went out from the booth. (I) only came back to (give my) consent for sealing the box. It turned out different, I accepted the declaration of winning. My worthy opponent should gracefully accept defeat, which he did by saying to media (that) ‘so & so ditched me’.”
Asked about Anand’s allegation that there was a criminal conspiracy behind his defeat, Chandra said, via SMS: “Let him (allege). I wish him well.”
In the run-up to the June 11 election, Chandra was on a weak wicket, while Anand, officially backed by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Congress, had more than enough votes for a smooth sailing. However, 14 votes of Congress MLAs were termed invalid by the Election Commission, handing Subhash Chandra an upset victory.
Anand has alleged that Chandra and Congress leader and former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda conspired, with tacit support of the BJP, to defeat him, as he had support of Hooda’s arch-rival Om Prakash Chautala, even though party chief Sonia Gandhi had asked Haryana’s Congress MLAs to ensure Anand’s victory. Anand maintains that Chandra cannot be sworn-in as a Rajya Sabha MP.
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