Karnataka: Congress to verify youth wing votes after row | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The Congress leadership in Delhi has ordered a fresh verification of votes cast online during the state youth wing’s elections, which have been marred by factional feuds and allegations of malpractice.
The elections were held in three phases, from January 10 to 13. Many candidates, including Youth Congress president-elect Raksha Ramaiah, have expressed concerns about the high number of votes that were declared invalid. Ramaiah has claimed that the figure jumped from 27,000 in the first round of counting on January 31 to more than 47,000 during a recount on February 4. The polls were conducted by the Foundation for Advanced Management of Elections (FAME).
After the party high command’s latest directive, votes will be verified again on February 20 and 21. Candidates will be allowed to check all votes and seek an explanation for the ballots declared invalid.
Mohammed Nalapad had polled the highest number of votes in the race for the youth wing president’s position, but he was disqualified over a 2018 criminal case. Ramaiah, who had the second-biggest tally, was declared the winner. Nalapad’s disqualification has upset a section of party workers and widened reported divisions between Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar and opposition leader in the assembly Siddaramaiah, who backed Nalapad and Ramaiah, respectively. According to party insiders, the Shivakumar camp has urged the high command to reinstate Nalapad’s lead and declare him the winner or appoint him as a working president.
Ramaiah has opposed the proposal, saying it would create two power centres in the party. Nalapad said that he wouldn’t accept the working president’s post. “I prefer to continue as a Congress worker. But I have 100 per cent confidence in my party leadership that it will do justice to me,” Nalapad said, expressing hopes of becoming the state youth wing president.

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Sagar Biswas

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