Congress on Monday approached the Election Commission to demand cancellation of the election to both Rajya Sabha seats from Haryana, alleging a conspiracy by BJP-RSS led to the defeat of a candidate backed by the party under controversial circumstances.
A delegation comprising Congress general secretary B K Hariprasad, party’s Haryana unit chief Ashok Tanwar and its legal cell secretary K C Mittal accused the Manohar Lal Khattar dispensation of “misusing” the government machinery to defeat R K Anand.
The Congress leaders and Anand, a well known lawyer, claimed there was no “internal sabotage” that caused the defeat.
INLD, which had originally backed Anand, had alleged that Congress leader and former Chief Minister B S Hooda and BJP were “responsible” for the 14 votes of party MLAs being declared invalid in Saturday’s Rajya Sabha election, leading to the victory of BJP-supported independent candidate Subhash Chandra.
The Congress leaders and Anand accused Chandra, a media baron, of “playing fraud on the democracy and Constitution” with the help of an independent MLA and some EC officials.
“There was a conspiracy hatched to hijack the elections… We have made a complaint to the Election Commission about the fraud played by Subhash Chandra, Jai Prakash (independent MLA) in the Rajya Sabha election.
“The AICC too has filed its complaint. The EC has heard our side, they will decide the matter accordingly. We have urged them to declare as null and void the entire election process and hold re-polling there,” Anand told reporters after the meeting with EC officials.
Hariprasad said all the Congress MLAs voted for Anand “as per the direction of the party”.
Hariprasad said he, being agent of the party during the polls, had seen votes of all but one MLA.
“There was no revolt. Congress people voted (to the right candidate), it was the conspiracy of the RSS-BJP. This indeed is a conspiracy and deliberate attempt (to defeat Anand). It is a big conspiracy to wipe out Constitution and election process,” he said.
When asked by reporters whether Hooda did not vote, Hariprasad retorted, “Who told you that Hooda did not vote? He did cast his vote.”
On the pen theory, Anand claimed it was BJP legislator Aseem Goyal who had allegedly switched the pen meant for marking the votes so as to make the 14 Congress votes declared invalid. He alleged that Jai Prakash took away the original pen from the voting enclosure.
When asked why the pen issue was not raised while the election process was on, Anand said, “One will not know such things when the polling is on”.
“We realised about the fraud when we checked the voting pattern. There was no point of Jai Prakash going there (inside the booth) again (twice)… after two of our MLAs cast their votes, he (Jai Prakash) went there again and changed the pen,” Anand claimed.
The votes of 14 Congress MLAs were declared invalid leading to the loss of Anand who was otherwise expected to win.