Tejashwi Demands Counting of Postal Ballots ‘Fraudulently’ Declared Invalid


Tejashwi Yadav
Tejashwi Yadav

The mandate favoured Mahagathbandhan, but the Election Commission’s result was in NDA’s favour, says RJD leader

NEW DELHI – RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has made serious allegations of fraud in the counting of postal ballots saying polling officials had acted like a “prakoshth” (cell) of the BJP. “The mandate favoured Mahagathbandhan, but the Election Commission’s result was in NDA’s favour,” he alleged in Patna during a press conference soon after being elected leaders of the Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance of his own party as well Congress and Left parties.

He said 20 candidates of Grand alliance have been defeated by narrow margin of 10 to 50 votes. This was done through indiscriminate invalidation of postal ballots. “In so many constituencies, postal ballots were counted in the end and not at the beginning of counting which is the norm. Moreover, there were seats where as many as 900 postal ballots were invalidated,” he alleged.

He said the option of postal ballots is used by educated people, mostly government employees. “Invalidation of one, two, ten or even 50 postal ballots is understandable. But how come how come bulk of votes, from 700 to 900 be declared invalid, that too without explaining to the candidates,” he asked.

“We demand recounting of postal ballots in all such constituencies and the process be videographed,” Yadav asserted.

He said his alliance will write to the Election Commission and point out the “discrepancies”.

Yadav mocked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose JD-U has been relegated to the third position in terms of seat tally, and wondered whether the latter would “heed his conscience and give up his attachment to the chair”.

Asked whether the Mahagathbandhan would try to muster numbers to form its own government, he said, “We will go to the people who gave the mandate. If they express such a wish we will act accordingly.” Quoting election data, he claimed the NDA got only 12,270 votes more than the Grand Alliance.

“We got support of the people but NDA achieved poll victory through dhan, chhal and bal (money, deceit and muscle),” alleged Yadav.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CM Nitish Kumar could not stop this 31-year-old. They could not stop the RJD from becoming the single-largest party,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Grand Alliance is reported to be in touch with at least two of its former allies who are now in the NDA camp. The RJD has ended up with 110 seats and needs 12 more to get to the winning number in the Assembly, which, sources said, it can get if it gets the AIMIM (with five seats) and two NDA partners, the Mukesh Sahani-led Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) and former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), on its side.

Though Sahani himself lost from Simri Bakhtiarpur, his party VIP and Manjhi’s HAM(S) have four seats each. The two parties were with the Mahagathbandhan and had switched over to the NDA just before the elections.


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