Atishi, Aam Aadmi Party’s candidate from East Delhi, Friday moved a Delhi court against her BJP rival Gautam Gambhir, alleging that he furnished false information in his nomination papers and concealed having two voter cards in two separate places in the capital.
The complaint, listed for hearing on May 1 before a court of the Metropolitan Magistrate, sought directions to police to conduct an investigation. Lawyer for the AAP candidate, however, said he will move an application Saturday for early hearing of the complaint.
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“The complaint is directed against the accused for deliberately and illegally enrolling as a voter in at least two separate constituencies, as well as concealing the fact and deliberately providing false information/statements/declaration in his nomination papers and accompanying affidavit…,” Atishi (37) said in her complaint.
The complaint, filed through advocate Mohammed Irsad, said, “Direct the police to investigate offences punishable under sections 17 (no person to be registered in more than one constituency) and 31 (making false declarations) of the Representation of the People Act, 1950, and Section 125A (penalty for filing false affidavit) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.”
Atishi claimed that Gambhir is a registered voter in Delhi’s Karol Bagh as well as Rajinder Nagar, on the basis of information accessed from the EC’s National Voters’ Service Portal.
“Unfortunately, this information came to us only after the scrutiny. If this would have come to us before the scrutiny, his candidature would have been cancelled. Because this is a criminal offence, we have filed a criminal complaint; we will also approach the election commission seeking his disqualification,” she said.
While Gambhir did not respond to the allegations, a source close to him claimed, “We don’t need to issue a statement on this, the answer will come from the Election Commission itself soon. This is a result of a mistake made by them, an administrative error and the clarification will come from their side.”
The complaint said “the failure of the authorities to investigate into the matter will allow the accused to go scot free and potentially subvert essential democratic principles…”
Earlier this week, the AAP had sought rejection of Gambhir’s nomination over a technical discrepancy, but the poll officer dismissed the objection.
BJP Delhi president Manoj Tiwari said, “AAP had earlier thought Atishi is among their better candidates but after we decided to field Gambhir, they became sure they will lose even this seat. That is why they are making such allegations which have no merit.”
Later in the evening, Delhi BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana alleged Arvind Kejriwal’s wife had registered as a voter in three different constituencies — in Delhi, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. To this, AAP spokesperson Bharadwaj said, “We are amazed that response is being sought about a private individual who is not in politics… Even if BJP wants to equate two cases, let both Gautam Gambhir and Mrs Kejriwal be disqualified from 2019 elections.”