By LE Desk
New Delhi, April 5: Assam’s Bodoland People’s Front’s petition (BPF) to postpone polling in Tamulpur – days after its candidate Rangja Khungur Basumatary defected to the BJP – was on Monday turned down by the Supreme Court.
Tamulpur will vote on Tuesday as the state holds the third and final phase of assembly elections. The BPF is part of the Congress-led alliance – “Mahajoth”.
Chief Justice SA Bobde Monday morning told the petitioner: “How can court interfere in the middle of elections? We will show you the door of Assam High Court,” NDTV reported.
The petitioner then informed the court it was withdrawing the plea, and it will go to the Gauhati High Court.
On Sunday, the Election Commission had also refused to intervene in the matter, stressing the polling could only be adjourned (or candidates changed) “only in event of death of a candidate”.
“The complaint (filed by the BPF) has been examined… the Commission is of the considered view that under the extant statutory provisions the matter does not warrant any intervention at this juncture,” the poll body said.
Rangja Khungur Basumatary had joined the BJP last week.
In its statement, the poll body said it had received assurances from Mr Basumatary that he had done so “willingly (and) without pressure from any quarter”.
“Since the candidate nominated by my party has changed his political allegiance barely a few days before polling through illegal inducements including bribery, he is no longer entitled to receive the votes under the Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) party symbol,” BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary told the Election Commission in the letter on April 2, a day after Mr Basumatary switched allegiance.
Tamulpur is one of 44 constituencies in Assam that vote on April 6.