Pranab’s letter quitting Kolkata institute fabricated: BJP (Lead) (With Images)

July 3rd, 2012 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) The BJP Tuesday claimed that UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee’s letter quitting as chairperson of the Kolkata-based Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) was “fabricated”.

“The resignation filed by Pranab Mukherjee is fabricated; and it is unfortunate that people contesting for such high office are indulging in such kind of activities,” said party general secretary Ananth Kumar.

He was addressing a press conference hours after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) presidential nominee’s candidature was accepted. Contesting against Mukherjee is former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma, being backed by the BJP, AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal.

“The signature of Pranab Mukherjee in his letter to the returning officer (of the presidential election) does not tally with his signature in the letter dated June 20 to the ISI,” claimed Ananth Kumar.

He urged the ISI president M.G.K. Menon to come clean on the matter.

“M.G.K. Menon has to clarify to the country whether it is his (Mukherjee) signature on the letter. If it is not, what is the mystery about it? The onus is on M.G.K Menon,” he said.

“We will pursue this matter and several options are open for us,” said Ananth Kumar.

“We are waiting for the reply of returning officer and then we will decide the course of action. Our battle has just begun,” he added.

A controversy was raked up Monday when Sangma’s team demanded rejection of Mukherjee’s nomination, alleging that he was holding an office of profit as chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI).

The ISI later issued a statement that Mukherjee had resigned on June 20. Mukherjee had filed his nomination eight days later.

Sangma’s lawyer Satpal Jain accused Mukherjee of remaining “silent” on when he submitted the resignation letter.

“Pranab has not mentioned when he gave it (resignation letter). He is silent on it,” Jain said.

He said that that Mukherjee was elected by the ISI’s council and not by the president of the of ISI so his resignation should have been ideally accepted by the council.

Citing the Constitutional article, Jain said: “Holding the office of profit and contesting the presidential election is not valid and amounts to disqualification of candidature. According to constitution, the exception is for contesting the parliamentary election.”

“It is ironical that our objection to his candidature was rejected and his nomination was accepted . This is illegal,” he added.

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