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EVM challenge ends with candidate crop

Careful scrutiny of nominations on Thursday left 15 candidates vying for the Jamshedpur hot seat and eased worries of EVM crunch for the East Singhbhum administration.

Returning officer-cum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal, who reviewed candidate papers under the supervision of Election Commission observer P.C. Dhiman at the district collectorate, ticked off Fazal Khan of Trinamul Congress and Mithilesh Das of Bahujan Mukti Party for violating various provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1951.

The pruned list of candidates is a major relief because officials will no longer have to arrange for extra ballot units. One EVM ballot unit can accommodate 15 candidates and a NOTA option. More than 15 in the fray would have meant an additional ballot unit for every EVM. Jamshedpur, which goes to polls on April 17, has 1,626 booths and 2,425 ballot units at its disposal.

“We received a total of 35 nomination forms from 17 candidates till the last date (March 26). After scrutiny of each paper, two names were cancelled,” Kaushal said.

In case of Trinamul’s Khan, there was only one proposer. “Since the TMC is not a recognised party in the state, there should have been 10 proposers instead of one, which is a violation of Section 36 Clause 2B of the Act,” he said.

Also, Khan had not attached affidavits of assets in Form 26 within stipulated time, a violation of Section 33A Clause 2 of the Act, he added.

Like Khan, Das too filed his nomination in a hurry and did not attach affidavits in Form 26, which led to rejection of his nomination papers.

Also, neither of his 10 proposers had provided their electoral roll details (name and number of polling booths in Jamshedpur constituency), thereby violating Section 33 Clause 4 of the Act.

Kaushal informed that as on March 27, six cases of violation of the model code of conduct had been reported from the Jamshedpur parliamentary seat and his administration had served notices to the political parties concerned on the basis of video footage.


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