Returning officers of various wards of the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation who scrutinised the nomination papers of candidates initially rejected objections raised against BJP candidates, and accepted the papers after scrutiny on Monday.
The main objection pertained to the alleged false caste certificates submitted by BJP candidates Laxman Gandgalekar and Satish Hanagal.
While Mr. Gandgalekar represents Ward No. 41, Mr. Hanagal represents Ward No. 38. They are seeking re-election from the same wards.
Appearing before Returning Officer Viranna Yalalli during the scrutiny, Congress candidate Mahesh Dabade’s counsel objected to accepting Mr. Gandgalekar’s nomination, alleging he had produced a false caste certificate stating he belonged to the Other Backward Classes ‘B’ category and the issue was in court. However, Mr. Gandgalekar’s counsel clarified that the case about the alleged false caste certificate was filed in 2007 before the State Election Commission and the case had not been disposed of.
He contended that since the case was filed after his client’s election to the council for the previous term and now that his term had already ended the case had become infructuous. He clarified that the competent authority for issuing the caste certificate had once again issued a fresh caste certificate and contended that there was no merit in the objection.
The Returning Officer after hearing the arguments of both Congress and BJP candidates ruled that as he did not have the authority to cancel a caste certificate issued by a competent authority, he had rejected the objection raised by the Congress candidate and would accept the nomination papers of Mr. Gandgalekar.
Another case where objection was raised pertained to Ward No. 38 where the BJP has fielded Mr. Hanagal. Congress candidate Yeligar objected to the acceptance of Mr. Hanagal’s nomination papers.
However, the Returning Officer rejected the objection as Mr. Yeligar hadn’t submitted any supporting documents.
However, in a surprise turn of events, Congress candidate Laxmibai Jadhav, who had alleged on Sunday that the election officials had gone out of the way to help the BJP candidate in Ward No. 67, didn’t file objections during the scrutiny.
While scrutiny of papers of candidate for most wards of Hubli concluded by 4 p.m., scrutiny of nomination papers of ward nos. 45 to 48 concluded in the evening as the scrutiny started after 3 p.m.
Dharwad Staff Correspondent reports:
Of the 1,224 nomination papers filed for 156 wards of six urban local bodies (ULBs) in the district, 116were rejected during scrutiny of papers on Monday.
Only nomination papers filed by 877 candidates were found to be valid. But the final number of candidates in the fray will be known only after the last date of withdrawal of nominations on Wednesday.
For the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation, 699 nomination papers were filed for 67 wards. But 85 nomination papers were rejected during scrutiny, officials said.
Among two town municipal councils, 117 nomination papers were filed and 13 were rejected in Annigeri. Similarly, of the 99 nomination papers filed in Navalgund Town Municipal Council, three were rejected.
In case of town panchayats, 122 nomination papers were filed in Alnavar, of which one was rejected.
In Kalghatgi, 110 nomination papers were filed and 13 were rejected. In Kundagol, of the 77 nomination papers one was rejected.