The Aam Aadmi Party has raised objections against nominations filed by two BJP candidates — Ramesh Bidhuri, the sitting MP from South Delhi, and Gautam Gambhir, the party’s candidate from East Delhi — over alleged discrepancies in documents submitted by them.
However, the nominations of both candidates were later accepted by the Returning Officer (RO). The last day to file nominations was Tuesday.
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Unhappy with the decision, AAP, in a statement, said its South Delhi candidate Raghav Chadha would move the High Court on Wednesday since the Returning Officer “erred in overlooking glaring discrepancies in Bidhuri’s nomination and it is a fit case for a legal challenge”.
Highlighting some of the reasons over which the party plans to challenge the decision, AAP stated: “The BJP candidate has failed to declare particulars of pending criminal proceedings and has intentionally left blank paragraph 6A, despite being required to fill up. This is a fit case for legal challenge.”
The party further alleged that Bidhuri also failed to disclose particulars of LIC policy for sum assured of Rs 1,00,000 with premium of Rs 2,829 half yearly, though the same was disclosed in the Form 26 declaration in 2014.
A statement filed by Bidhuri’s office stated: “The Returning Officer found that there was nothing wrong in nomination papers of the BJP South Delhi candidate Ramesh Bidhuri. AAP had raised objections on the nomination, but the returning officer did not agree with any allegations. The returning officer had called a hearing of both parties at 5.30 pm, where it was proved that the Aam Aadmi Party allegations were based on concocted facts. AAP has already accepted their defeat as the popularity of Bidhuri is far bigger than the AAP candidate. That is the reason that they have gone to such a low level. During the nomination, thousands of people gathered to show their support in favour of Bidhuri. That shows his popularity among the masses.”
AAP’s East Delhi candidate Atishi had raised an objection to the affidavit submitted by Gambhir on technical grounds — that the notary stamps on the two affidavits bore earlier dates than the date on the stamp paper, which was of April 23.
However, after considering the complaint, the Returning Officer accepted the nomination, finding the affidavits “substantially compliant in law.”
Another objection raised was that the notary stamp was not as per the Notaries Rules as “the seal of the notary must be 5 cm in diameter with expiry date, which has not been complied with in the present case”.
The Returning Officer observed that the complaint was of a technical nature while the Representation of the People Act states that no nomination paper shall be rejected “on the ground of any defect which is not of a substantial character”.