EC allows counting for RS seats in Haryana, passes order to reject Shiv Sen MLA in Maharashtra and permits counting

The Election Commission in its post midnight order noted that it will allow counting of votes to commence in Maharashtra after directing the Returning Officer to reject the vote cast by Shiv Sena MLA Suhas Kande. The EC also allowed counting to begin for Rajya Sabha seats in Haryana.

“Commision allows counting for RS seats in Haryana. With respect to Maharashtra, Commission passes detailed order after analysing the report of RO/ Observer/Special Observer and viewing the video footage, directs the RO to reject the vote cast by Sh Suhas Kande, MLA and permits the counting of votes to commence, the Election Commission spokesperson said.

In Maharashtra, the contest for the sixth Rajya Sabha seat turned into a battle between the Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Pawar and Dhananjay Mahadik of the BJP, both are from Kolhapur. Both sides are leaving no stone unturned to mobilise support for their candidates to meet the requirement of 42 votes that will get them elected to the Upper House of Parliament.

In its order EC noted: “Taking into consideration the above complaints and counter complaints of BJP, INC, NCP and Shiv Sena, the Commission considered it appropriate to obtain the video recording of the polling process to ascertain the true facts relating to the above complaints. Accordingly, the relevant portions of the video recording were obtained by the Commission from the RO. The RO transmitted only that relevant portion from the video recording which showed the votes being cast by the said MLAs,” it said.

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“he Commission has carefully considered the complaints and counter complaints of both the political parties, report of RO/Observer/Special Observer account the factual position as observed from the video recording,” it added.

The BJP, which has 106 MLAs in the House, has 30 surplus votes and requires the support of 12 legislators from smaller parties and Independents to get Mahadik, its third candidate, elected. The Sena is banking on surplus votes from its allies Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The surplus votes of the three parties in the ruling coalition add up to 31, leaving the Sena still short of 11 votes to get Pawar, its second candidate, elected.

In Haryana BJP candidate Krishan Lal Panwar looked all set to enter the Rajya Sabha even as uncertainty prevailed over the second seat as the counting of votes was put on hold Friday after the saffron party nominee and the Independent candidate backed by the JJP urged the Election Commission to cancel the votes of two Congress MLAs.

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. The charge was denied by Returning Officer RK Nandal who said that he did not find any “breach of privacy/secrecy of ballot paper” by the two MLAs.

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