Maharashtra RS polls: Shiv Sena MLA Suhas Kande challenges ECI decision before Bombay HC

The ECI had declared Kande's vote invalid after the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged that he violated the voting process

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Monday, June 13, 2022, 04:25 PM IST
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Shiv Sena MLA Suhas Kande |

Shiv Sena MLA Suhas Kande has approached the Bombay High Court challenging the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision declaring his vote cast in the last week’s Rajya Sabha elections as invalid.

On June 10, the Rajya Sabha elections were held for six seats in Maharashtra. The ECI had declared Kande's vote invalid after the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged that he violated the voting process.

Seeking quashing of the ECI's decision, Kande's petition, stated that the ECI’s decision discharging his vote has caused grave prejudice to his dignity and reputation.

Ajinkya Udane, Kande's advocate, mentioned the petition before a Division Bench of Justices S.V. Gangapurwala and Dhiraj Singh Thakur on Monday seeking urgent hearing.

The HC has kept the petition for hearing on June 15.

According to Kande's plea, on June 10, he had gone to the electoral hall (at the Vidhan Bhawan in Mumbai), exercised his right to vote, made the necessary endorsement on the ballot paper. As per the rules, he came out and showed the ballot paper to Shiv Sena leader Sunil Prabhu, who had issued a whip for the polls.

“It is alleged by MLA Yogesh Sagar that the petitioner had shown his ballot paper to the whip of another political party. This is not true and the petitioner had shown his ballot paper to only Sunil Prabhu and not to any other political party,” the petition read.

The plea stated that Sagar ought to have raised this objection at that time and not after Kande left the electoral hall. It further claimed that the election officer in-charge of the poll station had given his ruling that the allegations made by Sagar were not factually correct and that Kande’s vote was valid.

Later that evening, several BJP leaders met with the ECI raising the same grievance.

Kande has alleged in the plea: "No notice was given to the petitioner [Kande] and without seeking Kande’s response, the ECI thought it fit to interfere with the decision taken by the election officer and held Kande’s vote as invalid."

In the elections, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Pawar lost to BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik — its third nominee. The Shiv Sena and its allies NCP and the Congress won one seat each.

The BJP won all the three seats it had contested.

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