Relief for Congress, Supreme Court stays Talala bypolls

In a major relief to the Congress in Gujarat, the Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Talala bye-elections giving the party an option to file nominations.
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Congress MLA Bhagwanbhai Barad had moved the apex court after his plea to stay the Election Commission’s (EC) decision to hold the bypolls on the same date alongside Lok Sabha elections was rejected by the Gujarat High Court.
On March 27, the High Court had rejected Barad’s plea seeking the stay as well as his disqualification by the Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi.
Barad had maintained that his disqualification was not in accordance with the law and was done in haste by the Speaker and was politically influenced.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Monday while ordering the stay also issued a notice to the EC.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear Barad’s plea on Monday after he filed an urgent plea.
The Talala bypolls were scheduled on the April 23, the same date when all the 26 Lok Sabha constituencies from Gujarat will vote.
The apex court’s decision brings a huge relief to the Congress as it was preparing to file nominations for the bypolls.
“We welcome the decision by the apex court to put a stay on the hastily declared Talala bypolls. This also obviously shows how the BJP is using the state machinery and pressurising the constitutional institutions to follow their way.
“Barad did not bend down to the pressure by the saffron party — to either join them or suffer.
“We urge and hope, that the EC will not show a biased attitude and hold the coming elections in a free and fair manner,” Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) spokesperson Manish Doshi said.
IANS

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