Candidates, who filed their nomination papers for municipal elections, have been forced to spend money on a notarised affidavit made with Rs.100 worth non-judicial stamp affixed to it.
This was the case at least at Narsipatnam, according to a contestant who argued with the Returning Officer and got his nomination accepted without enclosing the affidavit.
An advocate and a former Naxalite leader Achanta Lakshmana Rao, who filed his nomination papers for the 9th ward of Narsipatnam Municipality, did not enclose the notarised affidavit with his papers and, during scrutiny, the Revenue Divisional Officer and the Municipal Commissioner, who is Election Officer of the municipality, rejected them.
Mr. Lakshmana Rao contested their action saying that the notarised affidavit (in which the candidate gives details like assets owned by him or her and the family members, cases pending against him or her or not pending, etc.) was not required to be enclosed and no where in the nomination papers was it mentioned nor the law stipulated its submission.
The officials said every contestant was informed orally about the affidavit and Mr. Lakshmana Rao countered that it should have been given in writing.
Another official wondered why Mr. Lakshmana Rao did not submit the affidavit when the remaining 179 contestants obliged.
The advocate said he would not submit even if a large number of others obliged. Finally, the RDO, after consulting a higher-up, said Mr. Lakshmana Rao’s nomination could be accepted.
Mr. Lakshmana Rao said the notarised affidavit was forced on the contestants who had to shell down at least Rs.1.79 lakh for a document that was not needed.
The stamp was Rs.100 while Rs. 150 was collected for typing each affidavit and declaration fee, etc. had cost Rs.500 and thus each of the 179 other candidates were forced to spend at least Rs.1,000, said Mr. Lakshmana Rao. Such an affidavit was required for the Lok Sabha, Assembly, and ZPTC and MPTC elections, he clarified.
The former naxalite leader is contesting the elections to create awareness among people that the elections were bogus.