As ruling National Conference (NC) accused the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti of "playing April fool with the election commission"; she rushed on Friday to file fresh nomination for Anantnag constituency, which is going to the polls on April 24.
Mufti, who is pitted in a tough fight with NC's sitting MP Mehboob Beg, filed nomination second time around noon following the accusation by the NC that she produced a fraud bank account details to the election commission on April 1.
"It's a simple case of fraud. She opened a fresh bank account on a national holiday on April 1. How come she opened the account? She simply played April fool with the election commission. It is a serious matter," NC spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu told the Hindustan Times.
On April 1, Mufti filed her nomination at the district commissioner's office at Anantnag. However, it was only after two hours that she could produce the mandatory fresh bank account details.
According to the election commission guidelines, a candidate is supposed to provide a fresh bank account, opened only after the election commission notifies election dates for the constituency and before the nomination is filed, and the account should have no transactions made.
Despite being a national holiday, the local PDPs were fanned out to open a fresh account, reportedly opened in a local cooperative bank on April 1. It was only after they managed to open an account that she filed her first nomination.
"We want the election commission to take a look at the fraud committed by the party and review the nomination of the candidate. A candidate who is not serious enough to file her nomination cannot aspire to raise people's issues in the Parliament," said Mattu.
The NC is mulling options to formally write to the election commission to look into "the case of fraud".
Opposition PDP has described the NC's objection as "propaganda". "Mehbooba ji filed a fresh nomination on Friday as the NC's propaganda machine is working overtime to raise doubts about her nomination," said PDP spokesperson Naeem Akhtar.