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Constitution Prevails: SC Rescues Chandigarh Mayoral Election

Quoting from the Bhagavad Gita, CM Kejriwal credited divine intervention for ending the 'adharm' of BJP. He expressed gratitude to the Supreme Court, especially the CJI, for saving the country's democracy through its verdict on the Chandigarh mayoral poll, where AAP-Congress candidate Kuldeep Kumar was declared the new mayor.

Constitution Prevails: SC Rescues Chandigarh Mayoral Election

Chandigarh:The Supreme Court canceled the result of the January 30 Chandigarh mayoral election because the presiding officer, Anil Masih, purposely invalidated eight votes for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-Congress candidate Kuldeep Kumar ‘Tita’. The court, led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, declared Kuldeep Kumar as the rightful winner but chose not to annul the entire election process.

 

The court invoked Article 142 of the Constitution to ensure justice and protect the integrity of the electoral system, emphasizing that allowing such actions would harm the fundamental principles of democracy. It found that the eight invalidated votes for AAP-Congress were actually valid and, as a result, Kuldeep received 20 votes, surpassing the BJP candidate's 16 votes. The court declared the election result null and void but did not order a new election.

 

The Mayor of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has limited powers, mainly involving calling meetings and setting agendas. The position is held for one year, and this election was significant due to the alliance between AAP and Congress against the BJP. The election, initially scheduled for January 18, was postponed to January 30 after legal challenges.

 

Before the election, AAP and Congress had a numerical advantage over BJP in the 36-member House. However, after Masih rejected eight votes and declared the BJP candidate elected, the situation changed. Videos showing Masih marking invalid ballots led to legal actions by Kuldeep, and the Supreme Court criticized Masih's conduct.

 

Despite the court's decision, if a fresh election had been ordered, the BJP could have gained a majority due to three AAP councillors joining the BJP. It once again proved to be a foul play, as no fresh election was ordered. Otherwise, unlike national or state elections, there is no anti-defection law in municipal elections, allowing councillors to switch parties without penalty.


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