Madhya Pradesh Minister Narottam Mishra Disqualified From Voting In Presidential Poll

With Sunday’s order, it has become certain that the BJP leader will not be able to cast his vote in the presidential elections scheduled for Monday.

The order by the EC had also barred Mishra from voting in the Presidential elections to be held on July 17.

After Delhi High Court putting its seal of approval on the EC decision disqualifying minister for parliamentary affairs Narottam Mishra, a tug-of-war has begun between the opposition and the government.

The disqualification has been categorised under Section 10A of the Representation of People’s Act 1951 along with Sections 77 and 78.

The impugned items – essentially paid political propaganda passed off as news – were published in prominent newspapers that circulated in his constituency, Datia, especially Dainik Bhaskar – the largest selling Hindi daily in the country – and Nai Dunia. The verdict found that the order given by the EC was a “fair finding”.

The court had further said that a candidate has to rebut the allegation that neither he nor his agent had incurred any such expenditure on paid news.

The ECI while disposing off a petition filed by Rajendra Bharti had observed that Mishra had indulged in paid news during the MP state Vidhan Sabha elections held in 2008.

The Minister had moved the apex court to seek an urgent hearing of his plea either by the High Court or the apex court itself, so that he could participate in the July 17 election.

While disqualifying Mishra from contesting elections for three years, the poll panel had used some strong words against paid news, calling it a “cancerous menace” that is assuming “alarming proportions” in the electoral landscape. It is against this order that the BJP Minister filed an appeal before the division bench.

Amid opposition demand to dismiss state legislative minister Narottam Mishra from cabinet, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan broke his silence, though unofficially, saying that he would talk to party seniors and seek legal advice on the issue during his New Delhi visit.