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OoP: Somnath attacks Election Commission

Speaker said he was being subjected to a "trial by insinuation" by it without establishing any prima facie case against him.

india Updated: May 24, 2006 16:12 IST

In an unusual attack on the Election Commission over the Office-of-Profit issue, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Wednesday said he was being subjected to a "trial by insinuation" by it without establishing any prima facie case against him.

"From March 8 till today, I have got no notice (from the Commission).....You give me a chance...(I am being held) guilty by trial of insinuation...Constitutional authority is permitting this insinuation to continue....This is not the way", an anguished looking Chatterjee said.

Addressing an end-of-the-session press conference, he detailed the "harassment" caused to him since the EC declared that a disqualification petition has been filed against him on the office of profit issue and his name was put on the Commission's website.

At the same time, the Speaker said that he was "not imputing motives" to anyone.

The veteran leader, who is Chairman of the Sriniketan Santiniketan Development Authority (SSDA), asserted that he was not holding any office of profit.

"I challenge anyone....I am holding the (SSDA) post for last 17 years. I will resign from all my positions, if anyone shows there is an office of profit", he said adding that if a post, which has no perks and salary other than compensatory allowance was no office of profit.

First Published: May 24, 2006 16:12 IST