Ranchi, April 3 (IANS) Congress candidate for a Rajya Sabha seat Pradeep Balmuchu Tuesday said that he has challenged in the Jharkhand High Court the Election Commission's decision to cancel the polls for two upper house seats over alleged horse trading.
"The EC cancelled the polling on three points, including the seizure of Rs.2.15 crore. The seizure of money and three legislators showing their ballot to other party agent is not a valid ground to cancel the polls," Balmuchu, the state party president, told reporters.
Amid reports of horse trading, the EC Friday stopped the counting of votes for two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand after money was seized from a car belonging to an independent candidate's relative and recommended to President Pratibha Patil that the poll notification be cancelled.
The income tax department in Jharkhand had earlier seized Rs.2.15 crore from an Innova car coming to Ranchi from Jamshedpur on the outskirts of the city, suspected to be pay offs for getting a favourable vote from some legislators.
Shakeel Ahmad, in charge of Jharkhand Congress affairs, welcomed the cancellation of the poll and sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged horse trading charges.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha also a sought CBI probe.
The poll panel, in a statement, said it was "satisfied" that that biennial election process for two Rajya Sabha seats had been "seriously vitiated" and consequently, it recommended to the president to rescind the notification for the elections.
Five candidates, including two independents, were in the fray. The five candidates are Sanjiv Kumar of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Balmuchu, Praveen Kumar Singh of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P), and two independents - R.K. Agarwal and Pawan Kumar Dhut.
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