Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Why did EC reject Shyam Rangeela's nomination form?

The 29-year-old had previously alleged that he faced obstruction in filing his nomination papers from Varanasi.
Last Updated : 17 May 2024, 14:19 IST
Last Updated : 17 May 2024, 14:19 IST

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On May 15, the nomination form of comedian Shyam Rangeela, who wanted to contest from Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency as an independent candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was rejected by the Election Commission (EC) on technical grounds.

The 29-year-old, who rose to fame after mimicking PM Modi, had previously alleged that he faced obstruction in filing his nomination papers from Varanasi. On May 13, he had even shot off a letter to the EC, accusing officials in Varanasi of "illegal" and "arbitrary" behaviour.

On May 14 – the last of filing of nomination –  Rangeela had reiterated that he could not file his paper as he was not allowed inside. "I have all the proposers and the documents. But they are not taking my nomination," Rangeela had said outside the Varanasi District Magistrate’s office. However, later in the day, Rangeela finally filed his nomination under his official name Shyam Sundar. 

On May 15 – the day designated for scrutiny of the nominations – EC informed that his nomination was rejected as he did not take the “oath and affirmation,”

Soon after his nomination was rejected, Rangeela said, “It was settled that they would not let me contest from Varanasi. Now, it has become clear. My heart is definitely broken but my spirit is not,” he said. 

Responding to his allegations, Varanasi District Magistrate and RO S Rajalingam said that Rangeela was informed of the“deficiencies” in his papers. 

"Your nomination paper has been cancelled because the affidavit submitted by you was incomplete and you did not take the oath/affirmation, a copy of the order of which has also been made available to you," the DM said in a post on X. 

What does the rule says?

As per election rules, candidate must make and subscribe an oath or affirmation in the prescribed form before some person authorized on that behalf by the Election Commission. 

According to the EC handbook for elections 2023, The oath or affirmation should be made and subscribed before the date fixed by the Election Commission for scrutiny of nomination papers at that election. 

“The oath or solemn affirmation can be made and subscribed by a candidate only after his nomination paper has been delivered and cannot be so made and subscribed on the date scrutiny. Returning Officer should, therefore, advise the candidate to make the oath affirmation immediately after presenting their nomination papers and in any case not later than the day previous to the date of the scrutiny. As such an oath taken at any time on the day previous to the date notified for scrutiny of nomination paper should be treated within time,” the handbook says. 

Regarding the manner of making the oath, the handbook says that the oath or affirmation has first to be made and then signed by the candidate before the authorised person. 

“It should be borne in mind that mere signing on the paper on which the form of oath is written is  not sufficient. The candidate must make the oath before the authorised person. The latter should ask the candidate to read aloud the oath and then to sign and give the date on the paper on which it is written. If the candidate is illiterate or unable to read the form the authorised person should read out the oath and ask the candidate to repeat the same and thereafter take his thumb impression on the form. In all cases, the authorised person should endorse on the form that the oath of affirmation has been made and subscribed by the candidate on that day and hour,” the handbook says. 

Varanasi will vote on June 1, in the seventh and last phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

Published 17 May 2024, 14:19 IST

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