India

Congress moves EC, alleges BJP attempt to defeat process of free and fair RS poll in Haryana

Congress delegation comprising senior leaders Vivek Tankha, Pawan Kumar Bansal and Ranjeet Ranjan leave after meeting the Election Commission of India, at Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi, on June 10, 2022.

Congress delegation comprising senior leaders Vivek Tankha, Pawan Kumar Bansal and Ranjeet Ranjan leave after meeting the Election Commission of India, at Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi, on June 10, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Congress on Friday accused the BJP of trying to defeat the process of free and fair election to Rajya Sabha in Haryana and demanded that the Election Commission declare the poll results in the State immediately.

A delegation of Congress leaders comprising Pawan Kumar Bansal, Vivek Tankha and Ranjeet Ranjan met the Election Commission and handed over a memorandum by Ajay Maken, its candidate for the Rajya Sabha poll in the State.

Party leaders Bhupesh Baghel, Bhupender Singh Hooda, P Chidambaram and Randeep Surjewala joined the meeting with the EC virtually and raised their objections over the alleged delay in declaring the results, soon after a delegation of BJP leaders questioned the poll process in Haryana..

Congress' Rajya Sabha candidate for Haryana Ajay Maken urged the Chief Election Commissioner to declare the results after rejecting the "frivolous" objection by the BJP over alleged violation of the secrecy of the ballot.

In his letter to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar, Maken has alleged "unwarranted and illegal interference" by Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma and the BJP in the election process.

Mr. Maken, a former Union minister, alleged they have raised frivolous objection before the Returning Officer with the sole agenda to "defeat the process of free and fair elections." The Congress candidate claimed the Returning Officer has already rejected the objections of Sharma and the BJP about the votes of its MLAs Kiran Choudhary and B. B. Batra, saying there has been no breach of secrecy of the ballot papers.

He also shared the hand-written remarks of the Returning Officer, dismissing the claims made by the BJP and the independent candidate.

"Fearing the loss of face in Rajya Sabha election results, the BJP has resorted to cheap politics stalling counting of votes in Haryana. Please have a look at the Returning Officer’s decision rejecting the BJP’s objections. Is democracy still alive in India?" he asked in a tweet while sharing the remarks of the RO.

"After receiving flak from the Returning Officer, and the observers of the Election Commission, BJP is moving to the ECI to stall the counting. Why is the BJP scared of counting of votes?" he asked.

Maken called upon the Commission to direct the Returning Officer to declare the result without any delay.

Maken is pitted against Independent candidate and media personality Kartikeya Sharma, who has the support of the ruling BJP-JJP combine.

Counting of votes for the two Rajya Sabha seats from Haryana was put on hold on Friday after the BJP and the Independent candidate backed by it urged the Election Commission to cancel the votes of two Congress MLAs.

BJP nominee Krishan Lal Panwar and Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma shot off a missive to the EC, alleging Congress MLAs Kiran Choudhary and B. B. Batra showed their ballot papers to unauthorised persons after marking them and that the episodes were "duly captured" by the camera installed for the purpose of election.


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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 7:27:03 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-moves-ec-alleges-bjp-attempt-to-defeat-process-of-free-and-fair-rs-poll-in-haryana/article65515407.ece