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Arvind Kejriwal thanks Supreme Court for ’saving democracy in difficult times’

Mangalore Today News Network

New Delhi, Feb 20, 2024: Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal extended his thanks to the Supreme Court for "saving democracy" after its order on Chandigarh mayoral polls. The Supreme Court ruled that eight ballots which were invalidated by the Returning Officer were valid. The court in its order noted that these eight votes were cast in favour of AAP’s mayoral candidate Kuldeep Kumar.


Arvind Kejriwal

Moments after the court’s verdict, Arvind Kejriwal posted on X, "Thank you SC (Supreme Court) for saving democracy in these difficult times!"

Arvind Kejriwal also addressed a press conference and called the Supreme Court order "historic". "This verdict is historic as institutions are under attack," he said.

Kejriwal also said that the verdict was a "big victory for INDIA bloc", adding that "BJP can be defeated through unity, strategy."

The Aam Aadmi Party celebrated the Supreme Court’s order overturning the Chandigarh mayoral polls result. With the Supreme Court’s order, AAP mayoral candidate Kuldeep Kumar was declared the winner of the election. Reacting to the verdict, AAP said, "the BJP has been exposed in the Supreme Court".

Delhi minister and AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said, "If the central government and BJP can resort to dacoity in such a small election...It’s a matter of big concern."

The AAP had approached the Supreme Court demanding fresh polls after the BJP swept the January 30 Chandigarh mayoral polls, retaining all three posts, and defeating the Congress-AAP alliance. The AAP had accused Returning Officer Anil Masih of “fraud and forgery” in the election process.

A video also went viral showing Anil Masih marking the ballot papers while glancing at the CCTV. During the petition hearing, the Supreme Court summoned Anil Masih to physically appear before the bench. The bench questioned him about the viral video.

To this, Masih replied that all the ballot papers were defaced and he was just marking them. "There were so many cameras that I was just looking at them," he said.

The bench then asked him why he marked the ballot papers, Anil Masih said he did it so that ballot papers did not get mixed. "That means you marked it. He has to be prosecuted. In an electoral democracy, this cannot be allowed," the bench remarked.

The Supreme Court rapped the Returning Officer and ordered the production of the ballot papers and video of the counting of votes in Chandigarh mayoral polls on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said, "We are inclined to direct a recount of votes including these eight votes as valid."

Courtesy: India Today

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