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Chandigarh mayoral polls: Aam Aadmi Party moves High Court, seeks fresh polls under supervision of retired judge

NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking setting aside the mayoral poll results and demanding fresh elections under the supervision of a retired HC judge.

The development came hours after the BJP swept Chandigarh mayoral polls, retaining all the three posts, in a setback to the Congress-AAP alliance which has alleged tampering with ballot papers by the presiding officer.

The petition was filed by AAP councillor Kuldeep Kumar, who was the candidate for the mayor post, against the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and the Chandigarh UT administration, among others.

The hearing in the matter is likely to take place on Wednesday.

In his plea, Kumar has sought setting aside the process of the election of mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, alleging ”complete fraud and forgery”.

He also sought instructions to restrain the newly elected mayor from discharging the functions of mayor of the Chandigarh municipal corporation, saying the entire process of election was ”vitiated by fraud”.

The plea was filed by the petitioner’s counsels R P S Bara, K S Kharbanda and Ferry Sofat, they said.

Councillors from the two INDIA bloc parties created a ruckus in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation House as the result for the mayor’s post was declared, and boycotted the next phase elections to the posts of senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor.

BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar defeated the AAP’s Kuldeep Kumar for the mayor’s post, polling 16 votes against the 12 won by his rival. Eight votes were declared invalid.

BJP nominees Kuljit Sandhu and Rajinder Sharma were declared elected to the posts of senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor, respectively as they secured 16 votes each.

Opposition councillors alleged there was tampering with the ballot papers at the elections, a charge rubbished by the BJP.

Apart from setting aside the mayoral poll result, the AAP’s plea also sought directions for holding fresh elections in a free and fair manner under the supervision of a retired judge of the high court so as to ensure that ”no malpractice” is done, according to the petition.

The plea stated that the ”election was not held in free and fair manner and there was a gross violation while counting of votes, with tempering of the ballot papers and then declaring them invalid, in the favour of BJP and against the alliance of AAP and Congress”. It also demanded investigation by an independent agency into the ”entire fraud” committed during the election process.

The petitioner also sought directions to respondents to seal, preserve and present before the HC the entire process of election, including the record of ballot papers and proceedings of the election process and videography done on Tuesday, according to the plea.

 

Source: Press Trust of India

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