Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav’s vote in the Presidential election shall not be counted, the Election Commission ruled on Friday.
During voting, Mulayam had mistakenly voted for Opposition-sponsored candidate P A Sangma and after realising his mistake, he tore off the ballot paper, asked for a second ballot paper and voted for UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee.
The ballot paper carrying the incorrect entry made by Mulayam was deposited with the polling officer.
The Sangma camp, through his agent Satya Pal Jain, complained that the returning officer had erred in issuing a second ballot paper to Mulayam and the same should be cancelled.
The complaint was lodged with the Returning Officer V K Agnihotri, who is the Rajya Sabha Secretary General.
The Election Commission said that the issue of second ballot paper to Mulayam was not right.
“The issue of second ballot paper to Mulayam Singh Yadav was not warranted under Rule 15 of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974. Therefore, the second ballot paper issued to Yadav may not be taken up for counting,” the Commission said.
Mulayam’s first vote for Sangma, too, however, would not be counted, observed the poll panel.
“The first ballot paper issued to Mulayam Singh Yadav cannot be counted as the secrecy of ballot was violated,” the EC added.
Agnihotri had said on Thursday that one elector had approached him with a torn ballot paper and as per rules he was issued a fresh ballot paper.
“Yes, one elector approached me with a ballot paper in a torn condition and therefore as per the rules which provide for issue of a fresh ballot paper in case a ballot paper is not in a position to be used as a ballot paper I can issue a fresh ballot paper,” he had said.
Welcoming the decision, Jain said: “The hands of the law are strong and long enough for any person howsoever high he may be.”
The vote value of a Member of Parliament is 708 out of a total vote value of 10, 98,882.