UP legislator creates furore by voting in Uttarakhand bypoll

Uttar Pradesh legislators, it appears, just love to be in the news even if it is for the wrong reasons.

A Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA from the state allegedly cast his vote in the Sitarganj assembly by-poll in the neighbouring hill state of Uttarakhand on Sunday in blatant violation of the Representation of People Act (RPA).

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna is contesting for the constituency.
According to reports, Prem Prakash, the legislator from Barhaj assembly constituency in UP's Deoria district, about 325 km from here, allegedly cast his vote in the Sitarganj by-poll held on Sunday.

The MLA,who is originally from Deoria, has a farm house in Sitarganj area in the Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand and his family had been living there for a long time.

According to the rules, a person cannot be a voter at two places. While laying down the eligibility criteria for contesting the assembly polls, Section five of the Representation of People Act, 1951, says a person contesting an assembly poll cannot be an elector in a state other than the one from where he is seeking election.

Prem Prakash said that his family had been living in Sitarganj since long and that he had also been a village pradhan and Block Chief in the constituency. He said he had given an application for striking off his name from the Sitarganj  voter's list at the time of contesting assembly poll from Barhaj. “I went to cast my vote after I came to know that my name still existed in the voter's list,” he added.
According to reports, election officials are looking into the reports and a probe has been ordered into the matter.

Ever since the SP formed its government in Uttar Pradesh after its resounding victory in the assembly polls, its legislators have been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. They have been assaulting police personnel, terrorising political rivals and even riding horses at crowded railway platforms.

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