Controversy Surrounds Chandigarh Mayoral Election: Allegations of Cheating

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In a dramatic turn of events, the mayoral election in Chandigarh has become a battleground of accusations and counter-accusations between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-Congress alliance. The presiding officer, Anil Masih, found himself at the center of the storm, claiming that AAP-Congress councillors tore up ballot papers after the results were declared.

The election, which saw the BJP’s mayoral candidate emerge victorious, took an unexpected twist when eight votes were declared “invalid” by Masih. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal promptly accused the BJP of winning through cheating, setting off a political firestorm in the region.

Masih, addressing the media, provided his account of the events leading to the controversial outcome. According to him, concerns were raised by AAP and Congress councillors about spots and marks on the ballot papers during the issuance. In response to their apprehensions, Masih acknowledged changing around 11 ballot papers and providing fresh ones. He proceeded with the counting, revealing that BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar secured 16 votes, AAP’s Kuldeep received 12 votes, and eight ballots were declared invalid.

However, the situation took a chaotic turn when Masih asked the polling agent of the AAP-Congress candidate to inspect the allegedly defaced ballot papers. Instead of complying, AAP and some Congress councillors reportedly disrupted the process, leaping onto the table, and allegedly capturing and tearing up the ballot papers. Masih’s claims were reported by news agency ANI, adding fuel to the already intense political dispute.

The AAP, on the other hand, vehemently denied the allegations of ballot tampering and accused Masih of defacing the papers himself to favor the BJP. Arvind Kejriwal insisted that the election was marred by cheating and called for a thorough investigation into the matter.

The incident has raised questions about the integrity of the electoral process and demands for a transparent inquiry to ascertain the truth. As political tensions escalate, the Chandigarh mayoral election controversy serves as a stark reminder of the importance of fair and impartial conduct in the democratic exercise of electing representatives. The aftermath of this contentious episode is likely to shape the political landscape in the region for the foreseeable future.

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