Punjab EC decide on including Kondla votes in Chabbewal
Taking the easy way out, the state election commission has ruled that the votes of Kondla village of Hoshiarpur constituency, which had erroneously been polled in favour of Chabbewal candidates on January 30, would be counted as part of the Chabbewal electorate.
In a communiqué to district electoral officer (DEO) Dipinder Singh, the commission has informed that it had no intention of intervening in the matter at such a stage when counting was round the corner and instructed that votes be counted on the basis of electoral rolls of the two constituencies.
BJP candidate from Hoshiarpur Tikshan Sud had complained to the election commission a few days ago that votes of his constituency had wrongly been cast in the adjoining Chabbewal (reserve) constituency and had demanded a re-poll.
Due to a technical mistake, voters of Kondla were made to cast their votes at Bassi Jora booth which falls in Chabbewal constituency. Prior to delimitation, Kondla too was in Chabbewal but later it was attached with Hoshiarpur. The error happened at the time of preparation of voter lists in 2008.
The commission had sought a report from Hoshiarpur DEO who admitted the gaffe but since rectification of a notified electoral roll is a long process, the election commission deemed it fit to postpone it till after the poll results.
The problem can, however, arise if the victory margin of the candidates in any of the two constituencies is very thin. Kondla has 159 voters. In that eventuality, the election commission would have to go for a repoll.
Village sarpanch Santokh Singh had claimed that he had brought the matter to the notice of BJP leaders long ago and was sure that they would get the mistake corrected but at the end the village had to vote for Chabbewal candidates