Counting Of Rajya Sabha Votes Stalled In Haryana Over Claims of Irregularities

Rajya Sabha Elections:The BJP sought cancellation of the votes of two Congress members.

New Delhi:

The counting of votes for the two Rajya Sabha seats in Haryana got stalled indefinitely today as the ruling BJP complained about cross-voting and when turned down by the local poll observer, approached the Election Commission in Delhi. The Congress, in a retaliatory measure, approached the Election Commission too, accusing the BJP of being “scared of the counting of votes”.

While BJP candidate Krishan Lal Panwar appears set to enter the Rajya Sabha from one seat, the battle is over the second, between Congress’s Former Union minister Ajay Maken and media baron Kartikeya Sharma, who is contesting as an Independent backed by the BJP.

The BJP sought cancellation of the votes of two Congress members — Kiran Choudhary and BB Batra — alleging that they showed their preference of votes to several persons other than the party agent in violation of secrecy of votes. The incident, the BJP insisted, was “duly captured” on cameras.

Mr Maken also wrote to the Election Commission, alleging the BJP’s objection of code violation was “false and frivolous” with the “sole agenda to defeat the process of Free and Fair elections”.

In its letter to the Election Commission, the Congress cited the written statement of the poll observer that read, I have seen the videography very carefully and found that there is no breach of privacy /secrecy of ballot papers and hence the (BJP) application is rejected”.

Mr Maken also tweeted the Congress letter and the poll official’s statement, saying: “Fearing the loss of face in Rajya Sabha election results-the BJP has resorted to cheap politics stalling counting of votes in Haryana.”Please have a look at the Returning Officer’s decision rejecting the BJP’s objections. Is democracy still alive in India?””.

The counting was thereafter put on hold till the Election Commission could examine the matter.

Suspense remained about the voting of Congress’s Kuldeep Bishnoi who made headlines with his cryptic tweets in the run-up to the polls. Mr Bishnoi having voted early in the day, a Congress MlA claimed that he has voted in favour of the party. That situation was reversed by the afternoon when the BJP claimed that he has voted in favour of Mr Bishnoi. By evening, the Congress camp claimed that the BJP allegations were false.

The Congress has 31 members in the state Assembly — just enough to help its candidate win a seat. Kartikeya Sharma has the backing of the BJP-JJP combine, most of the Independents, and Gopal Kanda, the lone MLA of the Haryana Lokhit Party.

The JJP, which is an ally of the BJP, has 10 legislators, while the Indian National Lok Dal and the Haryana Lokhit Party have one each. There are seven Independents.

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