Team Sangma to approach poll panel against Pranab’s nomination (Lead)

July 5th, 2012 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, July 5 (IANS) Presidential candidate P. Sangma’s team has decided to approach the Election Commission against presidential poll returning officer V.K. Agnihotri’s approval of UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee’s candidature.

After a nearly two-hour-long meeting at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj’s residence here, it was decided that the poll panel will be approached Saturday to demand a review of Agnihotri’s decision. The option for going to court has also been kept open.

“We will go the Election Commission Saturday and complain against the returning officer. The Election Commission, under Article 324, has the right to review the decision taken by the returning officer,” BJP leader S.S. Ahluwalia told reporters after the meeting.

“We hope that the Election Commission will take the right decision,” he said.

The meeting was attended by Sushma Swaraj, Ahluwalia, Ananth Kumar, Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy and Satpal Jain.

Jain, who heads the BJP’s legal cell and is acting as Sangma’s lawyer, told IANS that the option for approaching a court was “kept open”.

He also said that the copy of the order given by the returning officer did not deal with all the issues raised by them.

“The order did not deal with points raised by us and did not give a conclusive reason why our objections were rejected,” Jain told IANS.

“In it, the returning officer also says ‘I am leavening certain issues to be decided at another forum’… what can be a better forum than the Election Commission,” Jain asked.

Sangma’s team had Monday demanded that Mukherjee’s nomination be rejected, alleging that he was holding an office of profit as chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) when he filed his nomination June 28.

Mukherjee, however, produced his resignation letter dated June 20 with acceptance from the ISI. Subsequently, Sangma’s request was rejected and Mukherjee’s nomination accepted by the returning officer.

The BJP alleged Tuesday that the signatures of Mukherjee on two documents were different. Mukherjee refuted the charge.

BJP sources say Sangma’s team is mulling an election petition, a plea filed by any contestant if he feels malpractice has been involved. The petition is heard by the high court of the concerned state after the election.

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