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Posted at: Feb 15, 2018, 1:23 AM; last updated: Feb 15, 2018, 1:23 AM (IST)

Dual vote: Probe indicts AAP MLA

Inquiry report submitted to Bathinda DC; RTI activist demands her disqualification

double trouble

  • Baljinder Kaur first got her vote made in 2005, in which she mentioned the name of her father as Amarjit Singh, who had adopted her
  • She got another vote made in 2011, wherein she mentioned name of her biological father, Darshan Singh
  • The probe doesn’t clarify if she had dual vote when she contested the Assembly polls in 2017
Dual vote: Probe indicts AAP MLA
Baljinder Kaur

Perneet Singh

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 14

An inquiry conducted by Talwandi Sabo SDM Barinder Singh has indicted AAP MLA Baljinder Kaur in a dual vote case. The probe report has been submitted to the Bathinda Deputy Commissioner for further action.

The report, however, is apparently silent on whether Baljinder Kaur had dual vote when she contested the 2017 Assembly elections from Talwandi Sabo.

Addressing mediapersons here, RTI activist Harmilap Grewal said he had a copy of the letter written by the SDM to the District Election Officer, which stated that Baljinder Kaur “has deliberately made a false statement before the competent authorities”.

He said he would write to the Vidhan Sabha Speaker to demand disqualification of the MLA. In his complaint to the CEO, the RTI activist had claimed that Baljinder first got her vote made on November 18, 2005, in which she mentioned the name of her father as Amarjit Singh who had adopted her.

However, she got her second vote made on June 22, 2011, in which she mentioned the name of her biological father Darshan Singh. Grewal alleged that the MLA also contested a court case against Chiranjeev Singh, a nephew of Amarjit Singh, regarding Amarjit’s property, which she lost in March 2011.

He said as per the Hindu Adoption Act once a person was adopted by someone, he/she could not go back to biological parents without following a legal process. “After consideration of the circumstances and scrutiny of the documents submitted, the undersigned is of the opinion that as per record both votes i.e. vote made on enumeration form and the vote made vide Form No. 6 are of the same voter i.e. Baljinder Kaur,” reads the letter.

The issue was first raised during the 2014 Assembly bypoll in the Talwandi Sabo constituency, which was necessitated by then Congress MLA Jeet Mohinder Sidhu’s resignation after joining the SAD. Baljinder Kaur had lost the byelection. The Akali Dal had also raised the issue when she contested again from the constituency in the 2017 Assembly elections.

Grewal said he would now wait for the Election Commission to initiate action against the erring AAP MLA, although he would also approach the Vidhan Sabha Speaker, urging him to act against her.

Baljinder Kaur could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. In the past, she had stated that “false allegations were being levelled against her to defame her”. She had also claimed that the matter had already been investigated by the Election Commission and nothing wrong was found.

Jeet Mohinder Sidhu demanded Baljinder’s resignation. “The SDM’s report has made it clear that the AAP MLA not only deceived officials but also duped voters of her constituency,” he said.

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