AAP dubs Chandigarh mayoral polls rigged, moves SC for immediate stay

Eight votes were declared “invalid” by Anil Masih, the presiding officer. The AAP had alleged tampering with ballot papers and sought fresh polls under the supervision of a retired judge of the court.
BJP’s Manoj Sonkar after he won Chandigarh mayoral polls.
BJP’s Manoj Sonkar after he won Chandigarh mayoral polls.Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: AAP councillor Kuldeep Kumar who had reasoned “malpractice” in the Chandigarh mayoral elections for his defeat by the BJP nominee, on Thursday knocked the doors of the Supreme Court for an immediate stay on the poll result and announcement of fresh elections.

It came a day after the Punjab and Haryana High Court refused to grant the interim stay but sought a reply over the AAP’s plea from the Chandigarh administration, the presiding office, the BJP candidate, the UT’s civic body and others within three weeks and fixed February 26 as the next date of hearing.

The BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar was announced as the winner of the mayor post after securing 16 votes in the 35-member municipal corporation House while Kuldeep Kumar, the joint candidate of Congress-AAP received 12 votes. Eight votes were declared “invalid” by Anil Masih, the presiding officer. The AAP had alleged tampering with ballot papers and sought fresh polls under the supervision of a retired judge of the court.

Moreover, AAP and BJP had accused the presiding officer of rigging the polls at the “behest of the BJP”, a charge categorically rejected by the poll officer and the saffron party. The AAP councillor in its plea at the top court, has sought immediate stay on the election result. BJP vs INDIA bloc

When the mayor election result was announced, the Congress and the AAP “created” a ruckus in the House and boycotted the election to the posts of senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor. At both posts, BJP candidates were declared winners. After the formation of the Opposition’s INDIA bloc, the mayoral polls were seen as its first test with the BJP as AAP and Congress had nominated a joint candidate.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and AAP national convenor has accused the BJP of “hooliganism” and called the result day a “black day for democracy”. AAP has been holding protests in Punjab since Tuesday.

AAP protests

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and AAP national convenor has accused the BJP of “hooliganism” and called the result day a “black day for democracy”. AAP has been holding protests in Punjab since Tuesday and had planned several in the national capital where Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann is stated to participate.

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