‘Won't allow murder of democracy’: Supreme Court on Chandigarh mayor elections | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Won't allow murder of democracy’: Supreme Court on Chandigarh mayor elections

Feb 05, 2024 07:13 PM IST

The Supreme Court directed that all ballot papers and videography related to Chandigarh mayor elections be handed over to the registrar of Punjab and Haryana HC

The Supreme Court on Monday directed that all the ballot papers and other original records including videography related to the Chandigarh mayor elections be handed over to the registrar of Punjab and Haryana high court.

“It's obvious he (returning officer) defaced ballot papers? He is murdering the democracy? Can't allow democracy to be murdered like this”, the top court said while issuing notice on petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party's councillor Kuldeep Dhalor, who had lost the mayor election to Bharatiya Janata Party's Manoj Sonkar.

“This is a mockery of democracy,” the top court said. The apex court also ordered deferring of Chandigarh municipal corporation meeting that was scheduled for February 7.

The top court's scathing remark comes days after the BJP had won the mayor election following the presiding officer's move of scrapping eight opposition votes. The action had sparked allegations of vote tampering.

Sonkar defeated the AAP's Kuldeep Kumar for the mayor's post, polling 16 votes against his rival's 12. Eight votes were declared invalid.

On Sunday, the AAP had staged a protest against the BJP, demanding that the presiding officer be arrested for ‘tampering’ with ballot papers.

Chandigarh BJP MP Kirron Kher along with party councillors congratulating newly elected mayor Manoj Sonkar. (ANI)
Chandigarh BJP MP Kirron Kher along with party councillors congratulating newly elected mayor Manoj Sonkar. (ANI)

AAP councillors led by the party's Chandigarh co-incharge Sunny Ahluwalia, squatted outside the municipal corporation office.

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"This relay hunger strike is against the 'vote chor' (vote thief) BJP and to save our democracy. This protest will continue until Presiding Officer Anil Masih is arrested and the "fake" mayor is removed, he said.

The Congress and the AAP had predicted an easy victory for their alliance in the 35-member Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, projecting it as an early test for the INDIA opposition bloc ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

(With bureau inputs)

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