The AAP on Wednesday, 24 April, approached the poll authorities raising objections over "shortcomings" in the documents submitted by BJP's Lok Sabha poll candidates from Delhi – Gautam Gambhir and Ramesh Bidhuri – prompting the saffron party to term its rival "frustrated".
The Returning Officer of East Delhi rejected the objections raised by the AAP over Gambhir’s papers, saying these cannot be “sustained”, while the South Delhi RO said Bidhuri’s nomination has been “examined and accepted”.
AAP's East Delhi candidate Atishi claimed that date on the stamp paper and the ones mentioned over the notarial stamps in Gambhir's two nominations filed on Tuesday were different.
Arvinder Singh Lovely, the Congress candidate from East Delhi, also raised similar objections.
In case of Bidhuri, his AAP rival Raghav Chadha raised objections over what he claimed were "glaring discrepancies" in the BJP candidate's election affidavit and said he will move High Court to challenge the RO's decision.
AAP Has Already Accepted Defeat: BJP Leaders
Hitting out at the AAP, BJP's East Delhi Lok Sabha in-charge Rajiv Babbar said this reflected that Atishi already accepted her defeat which prompted her to file "frivolous" objections related to Gambhir's affidavit.
"Atishi raised objection over notary date on Gambhir's affidavit. Our advocates presented the register to clear the thing. Apparently, her objection has now been rejected," he said. The AAP lacks sportsmanship which is essence of any competition political or otherwise, charged Babbar.
Bidhuri said the AAP was “frustrated” as it was “staring at” a defeat on the South Delhi seat.
"It's their strategy to waste my time so that I cannot campaign for the polls. I had no idea that any case was registered against me till the AAP candidate raised it as an objection. I have filed a defamation case against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and it could be their pressure tactic to distract me," he said.
What Were AAP’s Allegations?
Atishi alleged that there were "issues" with Gambhir's affidavit.
“The stamp paper which has been furnished is dated 23 April, 2019, whereas the notarial stamp on two of his affidavits have a date of 18 April and 19 April respectively,” the AAP candidate said in a statement.
Her allegation was later examined by the Returning Officer of the constituency.
Chadha claimed Bidhuri failed to declare in particulars of pending criminal proceedings, particularly a case registered at at the Kazimahammadpur police station in Muzaffarpur, Bihar.
Biduri also failed to disclose particulars of LIC policy for sum assured of Rs 1,00,000 with premium of Rs 2,829 half yearly, though the same was disclosed in the Form 26 Declaration in 2014, Chadha said.
‘Objections Raised Cannot be Sustained And Are Thus Overruled’: Returning Officer
East Delhi constituency's Returning Officer K Mahesh in an order said, "the objections raised cannot be sustained and are thus overruled".
The order said Lovely and few other candidates had raised "similar objections".
In response to the objections, the advocates on behalf of Gambhir have submitted that the number "18/04" and "19/04" are the "serial numbers of the notary and not the dates" and that the date of the notarial stamp is 23 April, which has been stamped below, and thus there is "no discrepancy", according to the order.
"Thus, after having carefully perused the content of the affidavits filed by the candidate and after having considered the objection raised, it is observed that in respect of the Form 26 filed by the candidate, there has been substantial compliance," the order said.
"The objections raised are technical in nature and therefore, in view of the substantial compliance of the candidate... the objections raised cannot be sustained and are thus overruled," it said.
"Bidhuri's nomination papers were examined and accepted," according to South Delhi's RO.
The party, in a statement, said it will move the High Court, alleging the Returning Officer "erred in overlooking glaring discrepancies in Bidhuri's nomination and it is a fit case for legal challenge".
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