New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) A high powered Congress delegation on Tuesday night urged the Election Commission to reject the votes of two party MLAs, who showed their ballots in the Rajya Sabha election to BJP leaders on the precedent set by it in Haryana and Rajasthan.
Briefing the media after the delegation met the Chief Election Commissioner, the second in an hour, former minister P. Chidambaram said there was videographic evidence of the ballot papers of the two Congress MLAs being shown to persons other those authorised to see it.
“This is violation of conduct of election rules read with election circulars and instructions sent by the elction commission in the past. There is precedent of a ballot paper of a Congress MLA being rejected on June 11, 2016 in Haryana because because it was seen by persons other than authorised,” he said. Chidambaram also cited a similar case in Rajasthan on an earlier occasion.
In Gujarat, Chidambaram said that there is ample evidence to show that the two votes were seen by two or three persons other than authorised persons obviously because the votes were in their (BJP) favour.
“The Election Commission cannot follow any precedent other than those set in 2016. Our information is that the Returning Officer is rightly awaiting the Election Commission’s instructions. The only constitutional authority in this matter is Election Commission which has the right of conduct and superintendence of the elections under the Constitution. The Returning Officer is only an officer.
“We have told the commission that it must take a decision as it did in Haryana and treject the two votes accordingly,” he said.
Asked why the Congress was raking up the issue late and had not done it in the morning, Chidambaram shot back, “This is completely irrelevant. One assumes that the Returning Officer will consider our request at the time of counting but when they refused to go by the circulars and rules and reject the votes we had to approach the elelction commission and bring the matter to the commission. The question is the two votes should be rejected.”