Votes cast for Cong go waste in Noida

Some voted for turncoat in confusion

 Unaware of the fact that the Congress candidate from Gautam Buddha Nagar, UP, had defected to BJP, many residents of the constituency ended up casting their vote in favour of the party and him.

Election Commission retained his Ramesh Chand Tomar’s name on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) as he did not officially pull out his candidature before the final withdrawal date.

Tomar, a Rajput leader, was nominated as its Lok Sabha candidate by Congress and even campaigned for the party for nearly 10 days.

On the day of Narendra Modi’s rally in Ghaziabad, though, Tomar dramatically joined him on the stage and declared his return to the BJP fold. Even though Tomar’s desertion from Congress was reported in the media, it seems several voters missed out on the news and ended up wasting their votes by pressing the button against his name.

Fifty five-year-old Colonel Chandresh Bhati, a resident of Sector 55, Noida, said, “I have always voted for the Congress and did the same this time as well, only to be told by my neighbour later on that it was futile.

Election Commission should have put up a note saying the Congress candidate has defected and one shouldn’t vote for him.”

Rajeev Jain, a resident of Greater Noida, suggested, “They could have put a sticker on his name so that one wouldn’t find Congress’s symbol at all.  I was outstation and came down all the way just to vote for Congress.”

Election Commission officials, however, explained that as per the Representation of People Act 1951, if a “candidate does not withdraw his name before the designated date, EVMs and ballot papers will have to carry his name.

“This is the law of the land and we went as per it.”

The Election Commission of India has nothing to do with candidates defecting and joining other parties privately,” said Rama Kant Pandey, Joint Chief Electoral Officer, Uttar Pradesh.

Congress, meanwhile, seems to be glad to see some votes squandered even if not massively damage its rivals’ share.

“It’s a matter of faith. Some people have traditionally voted for us and did it this time as well. We respect their sentiments, though we do feel pained that for the first time in history, we did not have a candidate from such an important constituency,” said one of the local leaders of Indian National Congress.

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