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36 Congress candidates move Gujarat high court over torn mandate

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Thirty-six candidates backed by the Congress have moved the Gujarat High Court seeking direction to the concerned election officer to accept their mandate for contesting the election of the Palitana Nagarpalika.

Their mandate was torn by disgruntled elements at the time of form submission.

According to the petition filed by 36 Congress supported candidates, the last date to submit a mandate before the election commission was up to 3 pm on February 13.

When the petitioners were about to submit the mandate, some elements in the Palitana Nagarpalika snatched their mandate forms and tore them. All 36 petitioners were thus not in a position to re-submit the mandate within a short period.

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The petition further stated that the incident occurred in the premises of Palitana Nagarpalika and the area is under CCTV surveillance. Despite this, no action was taken by police and other authorities.

February 15 is the last day for scrutiny of forms by the election officer and hence if on or before February 15 the forms of the petitioners are not accepted and considered, then there will be no scope of intervention and
This will result in an uncontested election.

What have Congress-backed candidates sought

The petition sought that the Gujarat High Court in its plenary powers and extraordinary jurisdiction, urgently intervene, failing which the election would not be a free and fair one.

It said lack of intervention will make it an uncontested election since the mandate forms of all members of one political party have been torn apart to prevent them from filing their mandate within the stipulated time.

This, they alleged, was done to prevent them from contesting elections. The 36 Congress candidates had been given a mandate to contest elections from nine wards of Palitana Nagarpalika.

The high court is hearing the matter on an urgent basis on Monday.

 

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