Adopting late Congress leader Ahmed Patels strategy, the BJP on Friday demanded cancellation of votes in Haryana and Maharashtra for violation of voting procedure during the Rajya Sabha polls.A BJP delegation comprising Union ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Jitendra Singh and Arjun Meghwal, along with party leader Om Pathak, met the Election Commission (EC) to submit separate memoranda for each state drawing attention to the alleged violation of voting procedure.
The memoranda mentioned that the Commission had in Ahmed Patel's case in 2017 clearly held that the very act of showing the ballot paper to anyone other than the election agent of the party to which the voter belongs renders the vote invalid, and the returning officer is bound by rules to cancel such a vote even if it has been cast in the ballot box and mark it for not to be counted' in the final counting.
The BJP complained that Congress MLAs B.B. Batra and Kiran Choudhry in Haryana and Yashomati Thakur in Maharashtra, along with NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad and Shiv Sena MLA Suhas Kande compromised and vitiated the voting procedure by openly displaying their ballot papers to persons other than their own election agents.
In case of Haryana, the BJP said: "The video cameras, though obliquely placed, may have captured the broad contours of the violation and objections were filed with the returning officer (RO) by the BJP election agent and other party agents.
The RO, without even considering the facts presented or examining the conduct of election rules 1961 or consulting the ECI observers present on the spot, allowed the votes as legal."The BJP memorandum of Maharashtra mentioned that the objections in all the three cases were filed with the concerned ROs by the BJP election agents.
"The ROs, without even considering the facts presented or examining the conduct of election rules of 1961, allowed the votes to be cast. Consequently, representations were submitted to the Election Commission of India by the party representatives," it said.
Both the memoranda requested the Commission to inquire into the matter and cancel the votes that had violated the provisions of election rules as well as the Commission's settled view as so ordered in the Ahmed Patel case of 2017.