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Ignorance leads to cancellation of Forward Bloc MLA's vote

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, Mar 28 (UNI) Sheer ignorance about the technicalities of voting in Rajya Sabha elections cost the precious vote of Forward Bloc legislator Kalimuddin Shams in the West Bengal Assembly today, creating a piquant situation.

Mr Shams, a legislator from Kabitirtha constituency in southern fringe of the city, reached the state Assembly at around 1500 hrs, barely an hour before the voting was to be closed, to cast his vote, expectedly for the Left Front candidates in the biennial elections to five Rajya Sabha seats from the state.

But after casting his vote in an adjacent enclosure when Mr Shams came out, one of his party colleagues Piyus Mondal, who was appointed an observer on behalf of the Forward Bloc, asked him to show his ballot as per the regulation under open ballot policy, which the veteran FB Legislator opposed vehemently and even tried to bypass Mr Mondal to drop his ballot inside the ballot box a few feet away.

But when Mr Mondal refused to budge and even observers of other parties also demanded that Mr Shams should show the marking on his ballot, the latter, who continued to refuse and suddenly in a fit of rage crossed the entire ballot and urged the Presiding officer to enable him to cast another round of vote.

Finding that the situation was fast going out of control, Presiding Officer as well as the Secretary of the State Assmebly Jadav Chakraborty immediately intervened and asked Mr Shams to deposit his ballot paper with him which in fact would be treated as cancelled.

''Under the present circumstances I just cannot allow you to drop the ballot paper inside the box, neither can I issue you another ballot to change your first preferential vote,'' Mr Chakraborty said.

This enraged Mr Shams further and he rushed out of the House in a haste after handing over the ballot to the Presiding Officer and thereby losing his chance to be a party to the election of five new Rajya Sabha members from West Bengal in today's biennial election.

UNI ABA SJC/LR RS2036

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