In an uprecedented step, the Election Commission on Friday night countermanded the Rajya Sabha polls in Jharkhand in the wake of allegations of horse trading and seizure of over Rs 2 crore in cash, saying the election process there "has been seriously vitiated".
"The Commission is satisfied that the current election process for Rajya Sabha election from Jharkhand has been seriously vitiated and cannot be permitted to proceed," the 3-member EC headed by Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi said in a 12-page order.
"Accordingly, the Commission hereby recommends under Article 324 of the Constitution read with Section 21 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, to the President that she may be pleased to rescind the notification of March 12 calling upon the elected members of Jharkhand Legislative Assembly to elect two members to the Council of States," it said.
While Rajya Sabha elections have been countermanded in the past, this is the first time that such a step has been taken on account of vitiation of the election process because of money power.
The Commission's decision came after a day-long meeting to inquire into the source of the huge cash seizures made by Income Tax authorities in Ranchi on Friday morning.
The order came following complaints by several political parties to the EC over use of money power and horse trading in these polls.