Firozabad (Uttar Pradesh), Oct 18 : The Congress in Uttar Pradesh suffered a major jolt even before the assembly by-elections when the candidature of the party candidate in Tundla assembly segment was cancelled during scrutiny.
The nomination papers of Sneh Lata, the Congress candidate were found to be incomplete and the returning officer has rejected her candidature.
The Congress leader, however, lambasted the administration, saying it was done to “provide an edge to the BJP candidate”, as she had filed two sets of papers and both were rejected “without giving a valid reason”.
The Congress candidate had filed her papers amid much fanfare with over 200 party workers and supporters accompanying her to the returning officer’s office on October 14.
Later, a case was also registered against her for violation of model code of conduct.
Sneh Lata was the only woman candidate in Tundla.
“My political career spans over 18 years. I had also contested the 2002 assembly elections. I know the basics of filing papers. Besides, my lawyers had also cross-checked the papers. I do not find a valid reason for the cancellation of my nomination. It was done to benefit the BJP candidate. I have communicated to the party leadership about the injustice done by the district administration,” she told reporters.
Talking to reporters after the scrutiny on Saturday evening, the sub-divisional magistrate (Tundla) Rajesh Kumar Verma said, “After scrutiny of the nomination papers, the candidature of four contestants — Sneh Lata of Congress and three Independents — was cancelled as the affidavits were found to be incomplete.”
A total of 14 candidates had filed papers for the Tundla seat between October 9 and 16. As the nominations of four were cancelled, 10 candidates now remain in the fray.
The candidates include BJP’s Prempal Singh Dhangar, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Sanjeev Kumar, Samajwadi Party’s Maharaj Singh Dhangar, five candidates of local parties and two Independents.
According to the schedule, the by-elections will take place on November 3 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the counting of votes will take place on November 10.