Khap turns Election Commission in UP

Khap turns Election Commission in UP

All political parties make efforts to secure maximum votes and at times field dummy candidates to make a dent into the vote bank of their rivals.

But in the ongoing urban local body polls in Uttar Pradesh, a panchayat belonging a particular caste did something different — it turned itself into an ‘Election Commission’ to make sure its community members’ votes did not split.

The panchayat not only got ballot papers printed, but also appointed a returning officer and turned the house of a caste member into a polling centre.

People of the community started casting their votes on Sunday. The officials got wind of the ‘polling’ and raided the premises, but voting agents and other persons managed to escape.

The incident happened at Amorha in JP Nagar district. Ansari, a weaving community, is in majority in ward number 23 of Amorha municipality. Votes from this area have always been the deciding factor in local body elections.

But this time there was a danger of a split in votes as there were three candidates in the fray from the Ansari community — Abdul Majid, Noor Faizi and Mohammed Yasir.

If they continued to compete, the votes would have been divided, leading to the victory of rivals.

The panchayat wanted only one candidate from the community, which meant two persons must withdraw their nominations. While Mohemmad Yasir withdrew, two remained in the contest.

The panchayat then decided to hold a poll to find out who between them enjoyed majority support. The loser was supposed to withdraw from the elections.

Though community members started casting votes, it came to a halt only after officials intervened.

“The polling was illegal. Police have seized the voting material and an enquiry is being conducted. Action will be taken against the guilty,” said sub-divisional magistrate Nagendra Sharma.

The ‘returning officer’, polling agents and other persons are absconding.

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