Governor, not EC, can nullify my election: MP minister Narottam Mishra over
The Election Commission banned senior Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra from contesting elections for three years for allegedly using paid news to fan his assembly election campaign in 2008india Updated: Jun 26, 2017 00:25 IST
Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra, who was disqualified by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for three years from contesting polls for allegedly filing wrong accounts of election expenditure in 2008 assembly elections, on Sunday said EC doesn’t have the power to declare his election null and void. Talking to HT on phone, Mishra said according to his lawyer, the power to declare his election null and void lies with the governor.
“When governor gets a copy of the EC order, he will take the opinion of the law department following which he will take a decision on the issue”, he said.
Mishra alleged EC’s order was ‘visangatipoorn’ (anomalous) and the loophole in it will be misused by political rivals in the elections across the country.
“There is no proof that I have paid for the news. This order is based on imagination and possibilities. What this means is that anybody can pay for a news item in your favour and get you trapped. This EC order will have an impact on the politics of our country”, Mishra said.
Meanwhile Awadhesh Pratap Singh, principal secretary Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha secretariat told HT that Mishra had two legal options- he can approach the state high court or appeal before the EC.
Singh said if Mishra doesn’t get relief through these two options, then prima facie it seems he stands disqualified as MLA. “There is some confusion as the order pertains to 2008 elections and he has been re-elected in 2013. Things will be clear once the assembly secretariat receives gazette notification from EC regarding this order within a few days. Then that gazette notification will be sent to the governor, who will take a decision after consultation with the EC. If governor declares his election null and void, then assembly secretariat will have to issue a gazette notification on disqualification and bypoll in the Datia assembly segment”, he said.
The EC order came on Saturday on a complaint by Rajendra Bharti, who had fought the 2008 elections as a BSP candidate, but is now with the Congress. In its order, EC stated that Narottam, Mishra “was complicit in the publication of the impugned paid news as news items and has derived benefit from and taken advantage of the same, without reporting or acknowledging it, and thereby attempting to bypass the rigours of the law”.
Mishra is parliamentary affairs and public relations minister. He is also the spokesperson of the state government.