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 today turned down by the Supreme Court.
Tamulpur will vote tomorrow 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 this morning told the petitioner: “How can court interfere in the middle of elections? We will show you the door of Assam High Court.”
The petitioner then informed the court it was withdrawing the plea, and it will go the Gauhati High Court.
On Sunday, the Election Commission had also refused to intervene in the matter, stressing the polling could be 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 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 tomorrow.