Mulayam tears ballot, Sangma team demands cancellation of vote (lead)July 19th, 2012 - 11:55 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yaday, who had pledged support to ruling UPA’s presidential hopeful Pranab Mukherjee, Thursday almost voted for opposition candidate P.A. Sangma, but realising the mistake in time, quickly filled another ballot paper and cast it. Sangma’s team has demanded his vote be cancelled.
Sources present near the election booth in Room No.63 of Parliament House said Mulayam Singh put a tick against Sangma’s name on the ballot paper.
“However, he quickly realised the mistake, tore the paper and sought a new ballot paper. He was allowed to use a fresh ballot paper,” an official said.
The official said Mulayam Singh returned his ballot paper to the returning officer, claiming it was torn. He was permitted to use and cast a fresh ballot by returning officer V.K. Agnihotri.
Sangma’s team then submitted a written complaint to Agnihotri, saying that Mulayam Singh’s first ballot and not the second one should be considered.
Member of Sangma’s election campaign team Satpal Jain said the objection was raised as any voter is “not entitled to another ballot” under the law.
“Mulayam Singh Yadav marked his ballot paper in favour of Sangma and then realising his mistake tore it and requested the returning officer to give him another ballot paper, who issued another ballot paper to him. We have objected to the tearing of the first ballot paper and objected to him being given another ballot paper, which he is not entitled to,” Jain said in his complaint.
Jain has also handed over a copy of his complaint to the election observers.
“Fortunately, the first ballot paper has been preserved under a sealed cover with the Returning officer,” he said.
Asked about the complaint, Agnihotri said: “I have sent the complaint to the Election Commission for a decision.”
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Tags: ballot paper, campaign team, cancellation, election campaign, election commission, election observers, favour, mistake in time, mulayam singh, New Delhi, objection, opposition candidate, parliament, parliament house, pranab mukherjee, returning officer, Samajwadi Party, tick, vote, yadav