EC refuses to cancel Rajya Sabha polls in Karnataka

RSTV Bureau
File Photo: CEC Nasim Zaidi (middle) along with election commissioners AK Joti and OP Rawat.

File Photo: CEC Nasim Zaidi (middle) along with election commissioners AK Joti and OP Rawat.

The Election Commission tonight decided against cancelling or postponing Rajya Sabha elections for four seats from Karnataka on June 11 as it felt that the sting operations did prove that money power was used to influence the voting MLAs.

The Commission said it cannot, under the existing law, disqualify a contesting candidate or prevent him from contesting the election, nor can it prevent an elector from casting his vote in an election, if otherwise qualified and eligible, as is being demanded by some of the parties.

The Commission said, “such punishment (of cancelling or postponing of polls) to the state legislative assembly and the people of Karnataka would not be commensurate with the demeaning act of few members of its legislative assembly.”

The order said the demands for deferment of the poll or cancellation of the election process are also being made by drawing an analogy with the rescinding of the process of the biennial polls to the Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand in 2012.

“The Commission has, however, noted that the facts of that case were entirely different. In that case, the allegations of bribery of voters were corroborated by the seizure of Rs 2.15 crore in cash from the car belonging to one of the contesting candidates on the date of poll itself which was intended to be used for bribing of voters.

“In the present case, there is no evidence, nor even an allegation, that any money has in fact been paid or received to any elector as bribe for his vote,” the poll body said explaining its decision.