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Wives, elections and mudslinging

With 16 days to go for the polls, the process of allegations and counter-allegations has already begun, reports Rhythma Kaul.

delhi Updated: Nov 18, 2008 00:24 IST
Rhythma Kaul

With 16 days to go for the polls, the process of allegations and counter-allegations has already begun.

On Wednesday, an independent candidate — Om Prakash, a Shakarpur resident fighting from the Laxmi Nagar constituency –– reportedly contested the nomination of BJP’s candidate from the same constituency, Murari Singh Panwar.

Prakash alleged Panwar furnished wrong information in the affidavit submitted while filing his nomination papers. Panwar did not declare his actual assets in the affidavit, he said.

Panwar reportedly has two wives and in the affidavit he mentioned only one wife’s name.

Congress candidate Dr A.K. Walia and his supporters tried to make the most of this allegation. “First to have two wives is illegal in itself, and the Election Commission (EC) guidelines clearly state a candidate has to declare full assets of his or her spouse,” said Dr Walia.

The man in the eye of storm, however, blatantly refuted all allegations. Panwar said the Congress candidate is backing these baseless allegations because Walia is scared of him.

Whether he has one wife or many is not the concern of the EC, Panwar said. “It’s for the Court to take notice and not the EC. If my wives have no objection, who are they? As for declaring assets, I have made public every single detail,” said Panwar. “Resorting to such petty measures to gain popularity and put the other person down shows how fearful they are.”

Chief Electoral Officer Satbir Sailas Bedi, agreed personal life of a candidate is not of their concern.

“If wrong information has been furnished, that is what concerns us. If the complainant has enough evidence, he or she can produce it before EC observers and necessary action will be taken.”

Luckily, for a candidate who is accused of furnishing wrong information, even if an inquiry is initiated, the elections would be over by the time the inquiry results are out.