Itanagar: The Gauhati High Court on Friday set aside the election of Congress MLA Gadam Ete from Arunachal Pradesh in the 2009 Assembly election and declared his nearest rival Duter Padu of the Trinamool Congress elected with immediate effect.
Padu, who was defeated by a margin of 30 votes, challenged the result in the court, accusing the winner of resorting to unfair means by influencing the election officials and manipulating the counting of votes.
The court of Justice IA Ansari pronounced the judgement today after hearing the arguments and examining the material evidences called by the court.
Padu, first woman MLA from Galo community, one of the largest tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, had contested the poll from Aalo West constituency.
She (RPT She) had in his petition stated that 65 postal ballot papers had mysteriously disappeared from Aalo post office, which resurfaced at the time of counting of votes.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had dismissed two appeals made by Ete praying that the apex court dismiss two election petitions filed by Duter Padu challenging his election as MLA.
Ete is currently holding the portfolio of Parliamentary Secretary for Home in the Nabam Tuki government.
Expressing her satisfaction over the judgement, Padu said, "The Judgement of the court has vindicated my stand."
With the election of Padu, the strength of the Trinamool Congress in the Assembly went upto six, while the ruling Congress has 45 after four People?s Party of Arunachal (PPA) joined the party fold last year, NCP (5), BJP (3) and a lone Independent.