HC notice to newly elected BJP MLC Bhangadia

A High Court bench has issued notice to State Election Commission, Returning Officer and the newly elected MLC from BJP, Mitesh Bhangadia.

Nagpur: A High Court bench here has issued notice to State Election Commission, Returning Officer and the newly elected Member of Legislative Council (MLC) from BJP, Mitesh Bhangadia on an election petition filed by Rahul Naresh Pugalia, a Congress nominee, who lost the election to him.

A single bench of Bombay High Court Nagpur bench of Justice M N Gilani issued notice yesterday returnable after three weeks. Pugalia has charged Bhangdia with conflict of interest and sought his disqualification as Bhangdia was a registered contractor with the Maharashtra government at the time of election on May 25, which is a violation of rules.

In another petition filed, it was alleged that Bhangadia extended monetary benefits to the voters who also enjoyed his hospitality for weeks before election. This is nothing but worst kind of electoral corruption wherein money is openly dished out to voters to defy the party whip and indudge in anti-defection activities.

Pugalia contended that on the date of election, Bhangadia was a contractor with the state government thereby violating the section 9-A of the Representation Act of 1951 and hence his nomination papers ought to have been rejected by the Returning officer of Wardha-Chandrapur-Gadchiroli Local Bodies Constituency.

The petitioner told the HC that Bhangadia as sole proprietor of his construction firm was carrying out civil construction of dams, canals, pipelines, roads and buildings. The Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) had awarded him many contracts and therefore was seeking annulment of Bhangadia`s election. Pugalia also urged the HC to disqualify Bhangadia and declare him elected.