Shiv Sena minister won’t be eligible to cast vote in Maha council by-poll on Thursday
Arjun Khotkar cannot vote as Bombay high court recently ruled that his election as MLA was invalid; he has appealed in apex courtmumbai Updated: Dec 05, 2017 08:57 IST
Shiv Sena leader and minister of state for dairy development Arjun Khotkar will not be eligible to vote in the state council by-election, to be held on Thursday.
Election officials said he would not be able to vote as 10 days ago, the Bombay high court ruled that Khotkar’s election as a member of legislative assembly (MLA) from Jalna was null and void.
Khotkar’s election was annulled by the Aurangabad bench of the high court for having filed his nomination after the deadline was over for the 2014 elections, after Congress candidate Kailash Gorantyal challenged his election.
Khotkar has already moved Supreme Court in appeal, but he has not yet got a stay on the order.
“As there is no order by the apex court, we will abide by the high court order that says that Khotkar is no longer an MLA. He, therefore, will not be allowed to cast his vote on Thursday,” said an official from state legislature, who did not wish to be named.
Anant Kalse, principal secretary, state legislature, said the case has been referred to the Election Commission of India for more clarity.
Khotkar said he is aware that he cannot vote in the council by-election. “The petition filed in the SC is up for hearing on December 8, a day after the election. As the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena candidate Prasad Lad is in a strong position, I have not insisted on getting permission to vote,” he told HT.
Two NCP leaders unlikely to vote
Meanwhile, two Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs, Chhagan Bhujbal and Ramesh Kadam, who are in prison on charges of corruption, are also unlikely to cast their votes.
“Bhujbal’s bail plea will be up for hearing on Tuesday, and if approved, he is likely to be free to vote. Kadam has not sought permission from court,” said an NCP leader, requesting anonymity.
Both Bhujbal and Kadam had voted in the presidential election held five months ago, with permission from court.