Voted for RK Anand? Cong wants MLAs’ affidavits

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Old 21-Jun-2016
Post Voted for RK Anand? Cong wants MLAs’ affidavits

Embarrassed by the defeat of RK Anand, the independent nominee it backed in the Rajya Sabha elections from Haryana, the Congress has decided to ask all its state MLAs to sign affidavits stating they actually voted for Anand.
Discussions to this effect took place today at a meeting which Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar had with party president Sonia Gandhi. Tanwar is learnt to have briefed Sonia about the current status of Congress’ petition to the Election Commission which is still in the process of reviewing video evidence in the matter. The Congress has alleged that the ruling BJP conspired to get 12 Congress votes in Anand’s favour cancelled by changing the pen meant for casting of the ballot in the voting compartment. “A decision has been taken to seek affidavits from all MLAs. Congress legislature party leader in Haryana Kiran Choudhry has been asked to coordinate the exercise,” a source told The Tribune.
The affidavit exercise indicates that the Congress is bracing for a court battle in the matter which saw Anand being defeated on the account of cancellation of 12 Congress votes in his favour. The votes were cancelled after they were found to bear an ink different from the one provided by the Election Commission’s returning officer. The use of a different pen is a violation of EC’s rules on RS elections.
Party leaders say affidavits would be required in two cases – if the EC is to launch a formal inquiry into the matter upon being convinced of fraud in the poll process; two, if the Congress decides to move the High Court to file an election petition in the matter.
“We are weighing our options. We will discuss if we need to file an election petition. A candidate can file one or the party itself can file. All this is being discussed. As far as the law goes, EC has not yet in its entire history cancelled an election after the results have been notified as has been done in Haryana where BJP backed Subhash Chandra has been declared as the victor. However, this is a test case for the EC to cancel the polls and set a trend because a fraud has been committed,”said a leader, adding that the issue was being debated under the watch of Haryana Congress general secretary Kamal Nath and other unit leaders. Also, the affidavit signing exercise will put former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda in a spot as he was the only MLA among 17 party lawmakers who submitted a blank ballot on the day of elections. The rest showed their ballots to AICC observer for RS poll, BK Hariprasad, who approved them as having been cast in Anand’s favour.

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