People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 16

April 21, 2013



Ranchi Mayoral Poll Witnesses Serious Bunglings


ON April 16, Gopikant Bakshi, secretary of the Jharkhand state committee of Communist party of India (Marxist), demanded a judicial enquiry into the scam revealed about the mayoral election in Ranchi municipal corporation. He said a fresh mandate was urgent to ensure confidence of the people in the democratic system.


Bakshi said after the cash for vote scam during elections to two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand in 2010-12, the cash for vote deal in the mayoral election and the extremely incredible discrepancy revealed in the conduct of poll for 55 wards of the Ranchi municipal corporation had further ashamed the people of the state.


One may note that the print media has published reports about the differences in number of actual votes polled and the number of votes counted, and the differences between the reports of the presiding officers and election officers regarding the number of votes polled in different booths.


Elections for 55 wards of the corporation were held on April 8, 2013.


Only on the preceding day, i.e. on April 7, Rs 21.93 lakh were recovered from a hotel in Ranchi, along with election materials for the Congress backed mayoral candidate, Ms Rama Khalkho. She later absconded.


After the poll, the State Election Commission stopped counting of votes for the mayoral post and finally recommended that the governor cancel the elections. This is perhaps the only case in our country when a mayoral poll was countermanded on charges of corruption.


Out of the 55 wards, results of six were withheld as the EVMs meant for these wards were changed with the EVMs used for mayoral poll.


A peculiar situation developed when the presiding officers of six wards reported that votes counted exceeded the votes polled.


Serious discrepancies were revealed in all the wards barring 17. A candidate in Ward No 2, Pradeep Mirdha, who is a member of the Ranchi district committee of Democratic Youth Federation of India, was declared defeated by 93 votes but he has demanded a fresh mandate as 251 votes in this ward were left uncalculated.