20 Feb 2024

Supreme Court declares AAP's Kuldeep Kumar winner of Chandigarh Mayor poll, what Arvind Kejriwal and Mallikarjun Kharge said?

In a major development, the Supreme Court on Tuesday declared Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Councillor Kuldeep Kumar as the winner of the Chandigarh Mayoral polls.

A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra quashed the decision by Returning Officer Anil Masih by which be declared BJP candidate Manoj Kumar Sonkar as Chandigarh Mayor on January 30.

The order of the apex court came as it found that the Returning Officer had deliberately defaced eight ballots that were cast in favour of Kuldeep Kumar so as to make them invalid.

The apex court today physically examined the ballot papers and found that they are not defaced. It directed that Kuldeep Kumar be declared as mayor with 20 votes (12 votes which he received and 8 which were for him and were defaced by Masih).

The SC further directed the Registrar Judicial to issue notice to Anil Masih for perjury proceedings under Section 340 CrPC for making a false statement before the court that the mark was made on eight ballots as they were defaced.

The bench slammed Masih saying he had "unlawfully altered the course of the mayoral election".

The apex court during the hearing noted that eight ballots were cast in favour of the AAP Mayor candidate. 

Tip of the iceberg: Kharge 

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court verdict on the Chandigarh Mayor election, stating that the apex court has saved democracy from the fangs of an autocratic BJP.

On a post on X, Kharge said, “The Supreme Court has saved Democracy from the fangs of an autocratic BJP, which resorted to dirty election manipulation”.

He said that this was just a tip of the iceberg to trample democracy and urged all to fight against this.

“The institutional sabotage in the #ChandigarhMayorPolls is only a tip of the iceberg in Modi-Shah’s devious conspiracy to trample Democracy. All Indians must fight this onslaught on our Constitution, collectively,” Kharge said.

“Never forget. Our Democracy shall be at the crossroads in the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections!,” the Congress president said.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi on X termed it as a murder of democracy adding that it is a conspiracy of BJP, "while Masih is just a pawn, Modi is the real face behind it".

Moreover, KC Venugopal while hailing the Supreme Court said that the entire election process was a complete farce, which has been duly exposed with this historic verdict.

If BJP can steal 8 votes out of 36, how many can they steal out of 90 crore votes: Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal described the Supreme Court's decision as historic. We thank the Supreme Court for this decision, which is important at a time when the institutions of the country are being dismantled.

He said that if they can steal 25 percent votes out of 36 votes, then how much can they steal out of 90 crore votes. 

Kejriwal said, “This is the first and significant victory for the India Alliance. We have snatched this victory from them (BJP). They stole this election, but we did not give up, we kept fighting and ultimately emerged victorious.”

Arvind Kejriwal said, “BJP can be defeated if we unite in the India Alliance. We have demonstrated this in Chandigarh. Those who want to save the country should come with the India Alliance. Earlier they used to mess up the voter list, now there are allegations of irregularities in EVMs too. If they are unable to do anything then they harass through ED.”

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