He displayed ballot to everyone in voting hall

The Election Commission is examining whether a DMDK MLA violated rules by displaying his ballot to everyone present in the voting hall before putting it in the box in the Rajya Sabha election on Thursday.

According to media reports, the MLA, M. Arun Subramanian, elected from Tiruttani Assembly constituency on a Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) ticket, exhibited the ballot to everyone. A.M.P. Jamaludeen, Returning Officer and TN Legislative Assembly Secretary, was quick to correct the MLA and advised him to show the ballot paper only to the DMDK's agent, which Mr. Subramanian did. A senior EC official said that though it was an “open ballot system” as per guidelines issued to voters (MLAs) they should display their ballot only to their authorised agent/representative and not to others. “We will study the issue and after getting a report in this regard from the Election Observer (State Chief Electoral Officer) and the Returning Officer (Assembly Secretary) take appropriate action”, he said. He refused to answer whether the vote would be invalidated. During the Presidential poll held in July last year, the Commission invalidated the vote cast by Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was given a second ballot after he tore the first one to correct his mistake of voting for NDA-AIADMK-BJD backed candidate P.A. Sangma, instead of voting for UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee, to whom his party had extended support.

The Commission had directed the then Returning Officer not to count Mr. Yadav’s vote. “Therefore, the second ballot paper issued to Shri. Mulayam Singh may not be taken up for counting. It may also be added that the first ballot paper issued to Shri. Singh cannot be counted as the secrecy of ballot was violated,” the Commission said in its order.

  • “Action after getting a report in this regard”

  • “MLAs should display their ballot only to their authorised agents”