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Protests erupt in Chandigarh as presiding officer accused of ‘running away with invalidated votes’

Protests erupted after mayoral elections in Chandigarh, India, as the winning party was accused of “cheating”.

As victorious candidate Manoj Sonkar was ushered into the mayor’s chair, the presiding officer appeared to leave with the rejected votes - without showing them to the councillor agent.

Mr Sonkar of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) won the election, defeating the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Kuldeep Kumar with 16 votes to 12.

However, eight votes were declared invalid, triggering protests from AAP and Congress councillors.

AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has accused the BJP of “cheating” and voiced his dissatisfaction with the electoral process.

“You can see the presiding officer literally run away with the ‘invalidated’ votes without showing it to anyone,” journalist Meghnad S wrote, sharing the video on social media.