Opposition Presidential nominee P A Sangma today sought the cancellation of Pranab Mukherjee’s nomination as President on grounds that he is chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI).
In a complaint to the Secretary General,Rajya Sabha,who is the returning officer for the Presidential election,Sangma’s lawyer Satpal Jain demanded that Mukherjee’s papers be cancelled at the scrutiny stage as he holds an office of profit.
Jain said that Mukherjee is chairperson of ISI and,hence,cannot contest the Presidential poll under the Office of Profit rules.
However,Parliamentary Affairs Minister P k Bansal emphatically refuted Sangma’s charge,stating Pranab Mukherjee had resigned from the post well before he filed nominations for the Presidential polls.
Today is the last day for the scrutiny of forms for the Presidential election. The last date of withdrawal of candidature is July 4.
This is the second high-profile instance involving a leader under the Office of Profit rules. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had resigned her Lok Sabha seat in 2006 when there were objections that as Chairperson,National Advisory Council (NAC),she was holding an Office of Profit. She contested and won the Rae Bareli seat again.
Later,the Office of Profit rules were amended and Chairperson,NAC,was exempted from it. Gandhi again became Chairperson of the body in March 2010.