AAP Rajya Sabha candidate Narain Dass Gupta’s nomination accepted
The nomination of Aam Aadmi Party’s Rajya Sabha candidate, Narain Dass Gupta, was accepted on Monday after the returning officer found Delhi Congress’ objection “not valid.”
Ajay Maken, Delhi Congress chief had filed a complaint against Gupta during scrutiny of nominations on Saturday, alleging Gupta held an office of profit as an appointed chairman of the audit committee of the National Pension Trust and as a trustee of the National Pension Scheme (NPS). Nidhi Srivastava, (deputy commissioner, central) the Election Commission-appointed returning officer from Delhi had then deferred the matter to Monday
“The matter was disposed of. Narain Dass Gupta’s nomination has been accepted,” reads the order passed by Srivastava, the returning officer, on Monday.
During the hearing of the matter, the returning officer observed that Gupta was the chairman of the Trust as per an internal arrangement and not as an independent office-bearer and hence was not ineligible for contesting Rajya Sabha election. Besides, AAP claimed Gupta had resigned from all the posts before filing his nomination on January 4.
The AAP had dismissed the charge, saying the Congress tried to gain ‘cheap publicity’ as the law doesn’t bar trustees from contesting.
With Monday’s development, Gupta, and other two nominees, Sanjay Singh and Sushil Gupta, are set to be AAP’s Rajya Sabha members from Delhi. The terms of the incumbent members, Dr Karan Singh, Janardan Dwivedi and Parvez Hashmi — all from Congress — expire on January 27.
AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha accused Congress of trying said Section 3, clause (L) of Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959, gave exemption to trustee from disqualification under office of profit.
“With nomination of ND Gupta cleared, Congress’s frivolous complaint was dismissed. It was a cheap publicity stunt based on unsound legal advice,” Chadha said.