CHITWAN, June 28: Chief Returning Office of Bharatpur on Tuesday reached Kathmandu to submit the torn ballot papers of ward no 19 of Bharatpur Municipality to the Supreme Court.
Following the order of Supreme Court, a team led by chief election officer of the metropolis reached Kathmandu to furnish the torn ballot papers. On May 28, some ballot papers were torn while the vote counting of the first phase of local elections was just about to finish.
Chitwan police had immediately arrested two cadres of CPN (Maoist centre) for allegedly tearing the ballot papers. A case has been filed against them in the Chitwan District Court.
Even after spending a month, the Election Commission has not been able to make a decision whether to resume the vote counting or conduct re-election in ward 19. Earlier, the EC had made a decision to conduct re-election but the CPN-UML raised objection and even filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist-centre) have been demanding re-election in the ward while UML is still stuck with its decision of resuming the vote counting.
In ward 19, former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's daughter Renu was the alliance candidate for the mayoral post with the support of NC. On the other hand, her opponent was CPN-UML candidate Devi Prasad Gyawali. Vote counting of wards 19 and 20 were remaining when things turned nasty. Until the incident, UML's Gyawali was leading Dahal by 781 votes. There were altogether 2,896 votes dropped in ward 19 and even after counting 1,800 votes, Dahal was lagging behind by a big margin.
Chief Election Officer of Bharatpur, Kabi Prasad Neupane, along with his team left for Kathmandu at around 8 am Tuesday morning. They furnished the torn ballot papers to the SC at around 9:30 am the same day.