The Election Commission Wednesday told Delhi High Court that AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal’s name was correctly enrolled in the electoral list in his New Delhi constituency and it can’t be struck down. It denied that the former Delhi chief minister’s name was illegally included in the rolls in the constituency, where he is contesting assembly election due Saturday.
The Election Commission further told Justice Vibhu Bakhru that a few objections were raised vis-a-vis Kejriwal’s enrolment but the matter had been resolved. The poll panel’s lawyer told the court that Kejriwal’s inclusion in the electoral rolls was correct.
“Arvind Kejriwal was physically present at the time of filing the nomination form. Objections were received from a few persons stating that Kejriwal is resident of Ghaziabad and not resident of Delhi. They (who filed the objections other than petitioners) did not submit any evidence. Enquiry was conducted and Kejriwal was found to be on the address given in the form,” said the poll panel counsel.
The court heard pleas by Congress leader Kiran Walia and NGO Maulik Bharat Trust, questioning the legality of Kejriwal’s candidature from New Delhi constituency as he was a resident of neighbouring Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.
Walia argued that Kejriwal should not be allowed to contest the election as his inclusion in the electoral rolls was incorrect. The Election Commission’s counsel also said that no changes can now be made to the electoral rolls as the final date of nominations was over. “In view of the specific ban on modification of electoral rolls at this time, striking of respondent’s (Kejriwal) name from electoral rolls can’t be granted.”
The court disposed of two pleas and asked the election commission to hear the objections of Walia and NGO after the election. Walia, who is contesting against Kejriwal from New Delhi, moved the high court contending that the Aam Aadmi Party chief gave a wrong residential address in Delhi.
Walia accused Kejriwal of committing fraud by submitting a false affidavit to the Election Commission that he was a permanent resident of B.K. Dutt Colony in south Delhi. The plea said Kejriwal, after stepping down as chief minister in February 2014, vacated the government accommodation at Tilak Lane and shifted to Girnar Apartments at Kaushambi in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.
It said the Election Commission’s decision to include Kejriwal’s name in the final electoral rolls was illegal and unjustified as it facilitated an outsider to become a Delhi resident. Voting for the 70-member Delhi assembly will take place Saturday. The votes will be counted Feb 10.
Meanwhile, the court also asked the poll panel to ensure that a elector does not cast his vote more than once. The court’s direction came on a separate plea that alleged that there are around 3,500 voters whose names occur twice or more in the list of the Bijwasan constituency in south west Delhi. (IANS)