The dreams of 904 municipal poll candidates, including two from the Congress party, have ended. The state election commission (SEC) has rejected their application forms, mostly because either the candidates had not signed their nomination forms properly or had submitted the papers at the wrong offices.
“We had received a total of 3,542 nominations for the MCD elections. Our Returning Officers found that only 2,636 applications were valid,” said Rakesh Mehta, commissioner of Delhi State Election Commission. And if any of these candidates want to withdraw from the fray, they have time till March 31 to do that. If nobody withdraws, the MCD elections will see 2,636 candidates battle it out on the poll ground.
The two Congress candidates whose nomination forms have been rejected are Kailash Bidla from Sangam Park and Kundan Ram Uttarakhandi from RK Puram. Bidla had submitted his wife’s caste certificate instead of his own while Uttarakhandi submitted a caste reservation form that is not recognised in Delhi.
But the Congress was in luck as there was one covering candidate for Uttarakhandi. Dharamvir Singh will now contest the poll in his place from Sangam Park. All in all, the Congress will not be contesting from two seats: RK Puram and Madhu Vihar, where its candidate had been unable to file the papers in time.
Most have blamed the political parties for bringing out the official list at the last moment for this unprecedented number of cancellations. The commission said this was perhaps the first time so many nominations were rejected at scrutiny level.
“A large number of candidates had filed their nominations at the very last minute. Some were not even aware that for all the three corporations — north, south and east — there were different offices in those areas only. A candidate of South Delhi Corporation is not allowed to file their nominations in east Delhi. So their candidatures were rejected,” said a senior commission official.
After the scrutiny, it has come to light that 28 candidates, all women, will be fighting in Okhla alone. Interestingly, in Rohini (central), only two candidates will contest the polls.
As soon as the news of their nomination forms getting rejected started doing the rounds, aspiring candidates flocked the office of the SEC office at Kashmere Gate to persuade officers to reconsider their applications.
“We told them we would not be able to do anything. Many even broke down while telling us why there were mistakes in their forms,” added the official.
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