PATNA: Persisting with its allegations of anomalies in the postal ballot count in the Bihar Assembly polls, the Rashtriya Janata Dal has decided to move the court if the Election Commission again rejects its recount demand.
Grand Alliance leader and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav has repeatedly alleged that alliance candidates lost in over a dozen seats because of irregularities in the counting of the polled postal ballots. The RJD has said the NDA polled only 37.3% of votes compared to GA’s 32.2%.
Even a marginal error can affect the outcome, it asserted.
RJD spokesperson Chitranjan Gagan said going to court was very much on the table, saying the overall difference in the total votes polled was too thin to be ignored.
“The National Democratic Alliance polled 1, 57, 00728 while Grand Alliance was polled a total 156, 88458 — a difference of only 12270 votes. Due to anomalies in counting of postal as well as other votes, the Grand Alliance lost at least a dozen seats, like on Hilsa seat, Nalanda, where the party lost by only 12 votes,” said Gagan.
The RJD also gave a few more instances of wafer-thin margins. In Barbigha, the JD-U candidate managed to win by 113 votes against Congress’ Gajanand Shahi; Sunil Kumar (former IPS officer) was declared winner by 462 votes against CPI-M-L’s Jitendra Paswan on the Bhore seat in Gopalganj.
On the Hilsa seat, a total 551 postal ballots were polled of which 182 were declared invalid, reducing the margin of victory of the JD-U candidate by 12 votes only.
In the same way, out of the 1,007 postal ballots, 106 were rejected, which led to the JD-U’s victory by 113 votes. The RJD candidate from Ramgarh also won the seat in Kaimur by a margin of 189 votes after rejection of 149 postal ballots out of 1,455.
Terming such complaints of the opposition party ‘unfounded’, the Election Commission has come out with a factsheet of seats won by candidates with less than 1,000-vote margin.
“The postal ballots were recounted, including those found invalid, and no discrepancy was found,” Bihar Chief Electoral Officer HR Srinivas told reporters.