Countering the Congress claim, the BJP on Tuesday asserted that the Returning Officer in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha election had all the powers to decide on the merits of Congress claims on the disputed votes of two MLAs.
“What is this? The Congress is saying the Returning Officer has no powers, observers have no powers. The Congress charges are baseless. We condemn it. Their house is breaking up. They are raking up the issues because they are staring at defeat,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after a second meeting of a BJP delegation with the Election Commission.
He was replying to Congress leader P. Chidambaram’s contention that the Commission was the only constitutional authority to decide on complaints about disputed ballots and that the RO is only an officer. Under the constitution, the EC alone has the power of conduct and superintendence of the elections.
Prasad said the Congress was “quoting wrong precedents and creating confusion”.
“We want the confusion to end. The election is over. We have full faith in the election commission. Counting should begin immediately,” the Minister said.