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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Lok Sabha elections 2019: AAP claims Gautam Gambhir has 2 voter IDs, moves court

The BJP rebutted the allegation, saying Gambhir had already filled Form-6 to get his assembly constituency changed after he moved to a new address.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Apr 27, 2019 10:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday accused former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, the BJP’s East Delhi candidate, of possessing two voter ID cards and moved a Delhi court to investigate the matter..
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday accused former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, the BJP’s East Delhi candidate, of possessing two voter ID cards and moved a Delhi court to investigate the matter..(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)
         

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday accused former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, the BJP’s East Delhi candidate, of possessing two voter ID cards and moved a Delhi court to investigate the matter.The metropolitan magistrate’s court listed the matter for May 1.

The BJP rebutted the allegation, saying Gambhir had already filled Form-6 to get his assembly constituency changed after he moved to a new address. “If the Election Commission has not updated its records, it is not Gambhir’s fault,” said Harish Khurana, spokesperson for the Delhi unit of the BJP.

The Delhi electoral office said it was not aware of any request for the cancellation of Gambhir’s old voter identity card. Even if such a request had been made, it cannot be acted on until after the election, it said.

“The electoral roll is frozen once the nominations are filed and no changes can be made in it. Such requests could be disposed of only after the election process is over,” a senior official said on condition of anonymity.

Nor is there a risk of Gambhir’s nomination being cancelled, the officer added. “If a person’s nomination has been accepted by the commission, he or she cannot be barred on such grounds.”

The Representation of People Act, 1950, states that no person can be enrolled as a voter in more than one constituency and doing so is a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment of up to one year.

“The AAP is out of the electoral race in Delhi. It is a conspiracy against Gautam Gambhir, as the party has become completely desperate and frustrated,” Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said, adding that the allegation of Gambhir possessing two voter ID cards would prove to be false.

Interestingly, in 2013 and 2015 respectively, AAP founder and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, and the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi were the targets of similar complaints.

AAP’s East Delhi candidate Atishi, (she recently decided to go just by one name) said Gambhir, in his affidavit, declared that he possesses a voter ID card enlisted in the electoral rolls of the Rajindra Nagar assembly constituency under the New Delhi Lok Sabha segment.

“The latest updated voters roll, however, shows that Gambhir possesses another voter ID registered in Karol Bagh, also under the New Delhi constituency. This is a criminal offence,” she added.

Explaining why the AAP approached the court directly with the complaint instead of approaching the electoral office, Atishi said the matter pertained to a criminal offence and the state electoral office had already completed the scrutiny of documents.

A senior official from the electoral office confirmed it hadn’t received a complaint. The returning officer of East Delhi, K Mahesh, said he had no information about the allegation.

Atishi also accused Gambhir of violating Section 125A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which makes it a criminal offence to conceal information or provide false information in nomination papers, which can attract a jail term of up to six months.

“We have filed a case in Tis Hazari court, urging the magistrate to direct SHOs [station house officers] in either Rajindra Nagar police station or Karol Bagh police station to register an FIR and take action,” said AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj.

The BJP hit back , and said that in 2013, Harish Khurana, a spokesperson for the party, filed a similar complaint, but with the Election Commission, about AAP convener Kejriwal having three cards – one each from Sahibabad, Seemapuri and New Delhi -- issued in his name.

During the Delhi assembly elections in 2015, the Congress and the AAP attacked the BJP’s Bedi for allegedly possessing two voter ID cards. In January 2015, an NGO complained against Kejriwal over the same issue, but after he explained that he had applied for a transfer of address, which had not been uploaded on the Election Commission website, the issue was resolved.

Late on Friday night, Khurana took to Twitter and uploaded three screen shots of three different Voter ID numbers of Sunita Kejriwal ,the chief minister’s wife, issued in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, and said the Delhi CM must explain this

AAP responded by saying it was “ amazed that a response is being sought about a private individual who is not in politics” and that it was unaware “where Mrs Kejriwal fielded her affidavit and nomination” from.

First Published: Apr 27, 2019 05:37 IST

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