SC decision on farcical Chadigarh mayoral poll will go long way to save India’s democracy: Cong

05:25 PM Feb 20, 2024 | PTI |

The Congress on Tuesday said the Supreme Court’s decision on the ”farcical election” for the mayor’s post in Chandigarh will go a long way to save Indian democracy.


”The entire election process was a complete farce, which has been duly exposed with this historic verdict,” Congress general secretary K C Venugopal said in a post on X.

”For 4 months, we have been frequently seeking time from the Election Commission to discuss the issue of complete VVPAT counting, but it has not found any time for us so far.

”We hope the ECI moves swiftly and takes steps that will improve the people’s faith in the democratic process — not dent it,” he added.

The Supreme Court said on Tuesday that it would direct a recounting of the votes polled in the controversial Chandigarh mayoral election and declaration of the results after considering eight defaced ballots declared invalid by the returning officer.


The court also ordered the prosecution of returning officer Anil Masih for ”misdemeanour”.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra passed the verdict on the plea of defeated Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate for the election Kuldeep Kumar, accusing the returning officer of electoral malpractices. The top court scrutinised the ballot papers and watched the video recordings that were brought before it by a judicial officer appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s registrar general.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the mayoral poll, defeating the comfortably-placed AAP-Congress alliance candidate after the returning officer declared eight votes of the coalition partners invalid, drawing accusations of tampering with ballots.

Manoj Sonkar of the BJP defeated Kumar after polling 16 votes against his rival’s 12 to bag the mayor’s post. Sonkar, however, resigned subsequently, while three AAP councillors defected to the BJP.


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