Gujarat Rajya Sabha Polls: EC rejects ballots of Congress MLAs who voted for BJP

Aug 09, 2017, 10:01 IST | Agencies

http://images.mid-day.com/images/2017/aug/Cong leaders .jpg
A delegation of senior Cong leaders met the EC over RS polls in Gujarat at New Delhi. PIC/PTI

In a major reprieve to the Congress, the Election Commission yesterday night rejected the votes cast by its two MLAs for violating the "secrecy of ballots" in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections.

The Commission also asked the returning officer for the polls to segregate the two ballots cast by Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghavji Bhai Patel and proceed with the counting.

The order said that while going through the video footage of the polling process, it found that the two had violated the secrecy of ballots.

High drama was enacted at the Election Commission yesterday evening over the delay in start of counting for the elections after Congress had approached the poll panel demanding cancellation of votes of the two MLAs for showing the ballots to BJP chief Amit Shah.

Three delegations each of the Congress and BJP made a dash for 'Nirvachan Sadan' within a span of two hours, with the former demanding that the votes of Gohil and Patel be declared invalid, and the latter insisting that counting be taken up "immediately".

Terming Congress' objections as "baseless", a delegation of BJP leaders, including Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Piyush Goyal, also approached the EC demanding immediate counting of votes, contending that validity of votes once put in ballot boxes cannot be questioned.

Goyal told reporters after meeting EC officials that the decision of presiding officers was final.

If neither they nor election observers objected to it when votes were cast, then their validity cannot be questioned now, he said, and demanded that "the counting of votes be done immediately and results declared".

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