Key Chandigarh Polls: Top Court Rules on Officer

The Supreme Court has intervened in the controversial election for the Chandigarh Mayor, expressing concern over the actions of the Returning Officer and vowing to protect democracy. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which had contested the election against the BJP, approached the court after losing due to the invalidation of eight votes. The Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, was furious after watching a video of the counting, criticizing the behavior of the Returning Officer and emphasizing the importance of a fair election process. AAP accused the officer of tampering with the ballot papers and demanded his arrest. The BJP, on the other hand, faced allegations from AAP’s ally Congress of tearing up ballot papers and obstructing their agent from observing the process. With 14 councillors, the BJP emerged as the winner in the 35-member corporation, while AAP secured 13 and Congress secured seven. AAP has taken to the streets in protest and has also called for the election to be canceled, records to be sealed, and a fresh election to be conducted under the supervision of a retired High Court judge. The Supreme Court, consisting of a three-judge bench, has temporarily halted the budget session of the civic body and ordered the Registrar General to secure all records. The election outcome has dealt a blow to the AAP-Congress alliance, with BJP’s Manoj Sonkar defeating AAP’s Kuldeep Kumar by securing 16 votes against his rival’s 12, while eight votes were deemed invalid.

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