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Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 08, 2013
Bihar Youth Congress leader Sanjeev Singh alias Engineer Sanjeev had a smooth run till being unofficially declared the winner in the recent organisational polls.

As the news of his victory came, his rivals approached Foundation for Advanced Management of Elections (FAME), an independent agency engaged by Rahul Gandhi to ensure free and fair elections in the Youth Congress, with a complaint against him.

According to the complaint, Sanjeev was one of the 245 students who had got admission in various engineering colleges in 1996 through fraud. The CBI had probed the matter.

Sanjeev denied the allegation. “It’s a 17-year-old case. My name does not figure in the CBI charge-sheet.” he told HT. “FAME did not even hear my side… It’s a clear case of injustice.”

Youth Congress functionary Rajpal Bisht confirmed his disqualification.

Sanjeev had contested and lost the 2010 Bihar assembly polls on Congress ticket from Bikram, Patna and also held the post of secretary in the previous Youth Congress committee.

“Why did the party give me the ticket if I was tainted? Why did Youth Congress poll panel clear my nomination papers if there were charges pending against me?” he asked.

Sanjeev is now planning to approach Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul with a plea to reconsider the decision. “I will move the courts if the leadership doesn’t address my concerns,” he said.

This is not the first time that FAME has disqualified a winning candidate. Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh’s son Vikramaditya Singh, former Goa minister Churchill Alemao’s daughter Valanka Alemao, Ashok Anand of Puducherry and Maninder Singh Dhillon are among those whose elections were set aside.