Flagrant fraud: On the Chandigarh mayoral election

Stratagem to defeat Opposition alliance backfired on BJP in Chandigarh

When Mr. Sonkar resigned from his post on the eve of the hearing, the Court was alive to the possibility that the BJP was looking for a reason to have a fresh election, as by that time, it had won over three AAP councillors to its side, a development that may impede the new Mayor’s functioning. The Court warned against the democratic process being set at naught by “subterfuge”. It was, therefore, logical that it did not order a fresh election, but decided to go ahead with the original votes, taking into account the valid votes illegally declared invalid. There is little doubt that the development is a setback to the BJP, which seems to have resorted to the fraud with the aim of subverting the cooperation between the Congress and the AAP, which are part of the Opposition INDIA bloc and had forged an alliance for the municipal election. BJP president J.P. Nadda had sought to use the election result to underscore the failure of both arithmetic and chemistry in the Opposition alliance, but will now have to deal with the party’s loss of face. It was indeed a fit case for the Court to invoke its extraordinary powers to decide on fact who actually won the election. The prosecution of Mr. Masih should also establish at whose behest he had resorted to such flagrant fraud.