Wants EC to take fresh look at Pranab’s nomination

Presidential poll candidate P.A. Sangma has urged the Election Commission to re-scrutinise the nomination of UPA contestant Pranab Mukherjee, which was accepted by the Returning Officer even as the Sangma camp’s objection on the “office of profit” issue was rejected.

Referring to Mr. Mukherjee’s claim before the RO that he had resigned on June 20 from the post of chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, which the Sangma camp said was an “office of profit,” the former Lok Sabha Speaker, in a letter to the EC on Monday charged that the signature of Mr. Mukherjee in his “resignation letter” (from ISI) did not match that in the “letter rebutting Sangma’s objection to his candidature” (given on July 3 to the RO). “Both the signatures were not identical” and the RO had not checked the genuineness of the signatures, he said.

The Sangma camp claimed that the two signatures were examined by a forensic expert, who said the one in the resignation letter was fabricated. The two signatures were from different persons, the petition said, quoting the expert.

Mr. Sangma contended that Mr. Mukherjee had not quit from the ISI before filing his nomination and should be disqualified for having held an “office of profit at the time of filing nominations for the Presidential poll.”

‘Inadequate inquiry by RO’

Mr. Sangma’s chief election agent and Biju Janata Dal MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, who signed the petition to the EC on behalf of his candidate, told The Hindu that they had also told the Commission that Mr. Mukherjee’s resignation was not accepted as per the rules and conditions of the ISI by the competent authority and the RO did not make a proper enquiry on whether his resignation was accepted on June 20.

Mr. Mahtab said since the EC was the authority to conduct and monitor the Presidential poll, it had ample scope to intervene and re-scrutinise Mr. Mukherjee’s nomination even at this stage.

“The EC is our hope and we are confident that it will intervene in the matter immediately,” he said.

Meanwhile, EC sources said legal opinion would be sought on Mr. Sangma’s allegation and an order might be issued on Tuesday.

More In: National | News