Swaraj again rakes up Pranab's signature issue | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Swaraj again rakes up Pranab's signature issue

chandigarh Updated: Jul 06, 2012 20:02 IST
Naresh Kumar

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday launched a fresh attack on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) nominee for presidential polls, Pranab Mukherjee, over the controversy relating to his resignation from Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, said it was very painful that Mukherjee forgot to resign from the post of ISI chairman, an office of profit, and when the BJP raised doubts, he submitted his resignation that had his "forged" signatures on it.

Swaraj was in Kangra to inaugurate the three-day national workshop of BJP's youth wing, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM).

The BJP contends that Mukherjee had not quit the ISI post before filing his nomination for presidential polls and his papers consequently should have been rejected by Returning Officer (RO) since the post was an "office of profit", which disqualifies its holder from contesting presidential elections.

Terming Mukherjee's resignation as fake, Swaraj alleged that in a bid to save the UPA nominee's papers, a letter of resignation was prepared hurriedly and forged signature put on it.

"Even a small kid can spot the difference between Mukherjee's signature on his nomination papers as presidential candidate and one on the resignation letter submitted to the returning officer for the polls," said Swaraj.

Swaraj said what substantiated their charge against Mukherjee was the date on the resignation letter.

How could it be possible that a letter sent to the ISI on June 20 reached Kolkata the very same day, was accepted and reached back Delhi, she reasoned.

"The resignation letter has no official seal of the ISI on it and instead it was written on the letterhead of the finance minister," claimed Swaraj, adding that neither the finance minister nor the ISI had made any official entry of the letter in its records.

Asked if the BJP would submit a complaint to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) against the ROs order that rejected Sangma's demand to disqualify Mukherjee, the BJP leader maintained that a decision in this regard would be taken by Sangma.

"There is also an option to take the matter to court," said Swaraj, adding that though the courts do not intervene once the election process was on, they did so if someone had committed fraud.