Former jailbird replaces underage daughter as candidate in Assam | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Former jailbird replaces underage daughter as candidate in Assam

Hindustan Times | By, Guwahati
Apr 08, 2009 12:47 AM IST

A man who spent 12 years behind bars for murder has replaced his daughter as candidate from a Lok Sabha constituency in Assam.

A man who spent 12 years behind bars for murder has replaced his daughter as candidate from a Lok Sabha constituency in Assam.

HT Image
HT Image

The Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF) had named Laxmi Oraon as its candidate from Tezpur months before the election dates were announced. The party was eager to reach out to plantation workers, considered the second largest en masse voters after Muslims in Assam, and in Laxmi it found an adivasi symbolic of deprivation.

In November 2007, she had been stripped on the streets of Guwahati after a rally seeking ST status for “tea tribes” went horribly wrong.

In their eagerness to announce Laxmi’s name, the AUDF’s leaders overlooked the fact that she was too young to be a candidate. The Constitution stipulates a minimum age of 25 years for a person to contest polls. In her nomination papers, Laxmi said she was born in October 1983, but the admission card of her HSLC examinations showed she is 19 years old (born on August 10, 1989).

“Her candidature was cancelled today after she was found to be underage,” Sonitpur deputy commissioner Rajesh Prasad told HT from Tezpur. AUDF leader HRA Choudhury said the party had anticipated Laxmi’s eligibility problem and had fielded her father, Deva Oraon, as a substitute, albeit independent, candidate.

Here too, the AUDF failed to do its homework.

“We were not aware that Laxmi’s father had served a sentence for murder, and we cannot do anything about it now,” said Choudhury. He said Deva’s candidature had been cleared since he had not been involved in any crime during the past two years. “Besides, he is a reformed man,” said Choudhury. Deva spent 12 years in jail after he was accused of murdering one Bhola Bora of northeastern Assam’s Biswanath Chariali town in 1966.

Laxmi said she had been victimised yet again. “I will move court against this conspiracy to deny my candidature,” she said. “By removing me, the machinery wanted to ensure victory for Mani Kumar Subba who, like always, faked his date of birth and became eight years younger this time.”

Congress’s Subba is looking for a fourth straight win from Tezpur, where 16 candidates are in the fray.

Chief election officer Hemanta Narzary denied Laxmi’s allegations. “The returning officer went by the book to cancel her candidature and accept Subba’s,” he said.

AUDF president Maulana Badruddin Ajmal made his millions from extracting and exporting agar oil -- a trade yet to be legalised in Assam.

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crickit, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Infographics & much more. Explore now!

See more

Get Current Updates on India News, Budget 2024, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, July 16, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On