NEW DELHI: Moments after a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) delegation approached the Election Commission demanding to declare the Rajya Sabha polls in Haryana and Maharashtra null and void, the Congress also approached the poll panel seeking to reject the demands.
A delegation of the Congress-led by senior party leaders Vivek Tankha, Pawan Bansal and Ranjeet Ranjan arrived at the poll panel office while Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, former union minister P Chidambaram, party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupender Singh Hooda and Rajeev Shukla also joined the meeting via zoom.
Congress candidate Ajay Maken in his memorandum to the poll panel said, “I am constrained to file the present representation drawing the attention of this Commission towards the unwarranted and illegal interference on behalf of independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in the election to the Council of States (Haryana), wherein the aforesaid after facing inevitable defeat in the said election qua the seat being contested by the undersigned, has moved a frivolous objection before the Returning Officer, with the sole agenda to defer the process of Free and Fair Elections.”
Maken was in a tight contest against BJP’s Krishan Lal Panwar and independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma backed by BJP and JJP.
The Congress leader stated that as the RO, after appreciating the factual circumstances, the video graphic evidence on record has given a reasoned finding and opined that “there is no breach of privacy or secrecy”. Hence, it is all the more clear that the protest lodged on behalf of independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is nothing but a weak and desperate attempt, without any basis, to disturb the pious election process in view of their incumbent defeat, he added.
“Therefore the same ought to be rejected outrightly,” the former union minister said.
Maken also demanded that the objections raised on the votes of electors Kiran Choudhary and BB Batra as demanded by Sharma BJP be rejected.
He said that the RO be directed to declare the aforesaid election to the Council of State, without any delay.
The Congress candidate’s remarks came after the BJP approached the poll panel to declare Rajya Sabha elections in Maharashtra and Haryana null and void.
The BJP delegation to the poll panel was led by MA Naqvi, Dr Jitendra Singh and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
Earlier in the day, as voting ended for two Rajya Sabha seats in Haryana, the ruling BJP sought the cancellation of votes cast by Choudhary and Batra, alleging that they showed their preference of votes to several people other than the party agent, in violation of secrecy.
Of the total 90 members of the House in Haryana, 89 members cast their votes. Independent legislator Balraj Kundu abstained from voting.