NDA may file ‘election case’ against Pranab


The Opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is likely to file an “election case” against the United Progressive Alliance’s Presidential candidate, Mr Pranab Mukherjee. A high-level meeting of the NDA decided to draw the Chief Election Commissioner’s attention to its allegation that Mr Mukherjee had not resigned from the post of Chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, while filing his nomination for the President’s post.

The NDA leaders said the Returning Officer, Mr V.K. Agnihotri, was yet to provide them a copy of his order that rejected the Opposition candidate, Mr P.A. Sangma’s complaint against Mr Mukherjee. Mr Sangma had alleged that by not resigning from ISI, Mr Mukherjee was holding an office of profit. They had also argued that Mr Mukherjee’s resignation letter was ‘fabricated’.

Meanwhile, the Congress said there was no basis for the BJP’s allegations. The Congress spokesperson, Mr Manish Tewari, said the issue stood settled. “The Returning Officer has already dealt with the objections and found the nomination valid. That ends the matter,” he said.

He said the BJP should understand that this was not a students’ union election. “This is the election for the President of India and they should respect the dignity of the office,” he added.

The BJP also alleged that the lunch hosted by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister for Mr Mukherjee on Tuesday was attended by two politicians with criminal background. “The Congress was exposed on Wednesday as their candidate for the post of President was at a lunch ceremony at the UP Chief Minister’s residence where two convicted politicians out on parole were present,” the BJP spokesperson, Mr Prakash Javadekar, said.