Haryana Cong organizes training session for MLAs, sung with ink row in 2016 RS elections

Chandigarh: Sung by the rejected votes in the 2016 Rajya Sabha election, leading to the victory of BJP-backed Subhash Chandra, the Congress is not taking any chances this time.

The party today held a training session for its MLAs at the Mayfair resort in Raipur where the process of single transferable vote was discussed. The session was presided over by Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Congress Haryana in-charge Vivek Bansal and Gujarat Rajya Sabha MP Shaktisinh Gohil. Hooda joined the MLAs today.

One of the MLAs said that party MLAs will not vote for second preference. He was asked to put ‘1’ against the name of Congress candidate Ajay Maken using the violet sketch pen provided by the Returning Officer.

No other pen or pencil or ball pen could be used. “No whip could be issued for the Rajya Sabha polls as the anti-defection law is not in force,” said a senior legislator.

There is an open ballot system in the Rajya Sabha elections. The Supreme Court in its judgment on August 22, 2006 in Kuldip Nayar v. Union of India et al., observed that “the argument that the voter’s right of expression in elections to the Council of States is affected by open voting is not valid, because An elected MLA shall not face any disqualification from membership of the House for voting in a particular manner.He may attract greater action from the political party to which he belongs.

The instructions issued by Returning Officer RK Nandal for Rajya Sabha voting were also discussed during the session.

During the 2016 Rajya Sabha elections, 14 Congress votes were declared invalid. While one ballot paper was left unmarked, one was rejected as it was shown to another legislator and 12 ballot papers were marked with a pen other than the one provided by the returning officer. This led to the victory of BJP-backed media baron Subhash Chandra.

A party MLA said, “We were told that the ballot paper has to be shown to the authorized agent of the party. Showing a marked ballot paper to someone other than an authorized agent will invalidate the vote in the Rajya Sabha election. The vote will be invalid even if the ballot paper is not shown to the authorized agent.