Brushing aside the CPM’s allegations that there were discrepancies in his nomination papers, Congress’ Rajya Sabha candidate from Bengal Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Thursday said the rival party was making “baseless, false” charges against him to save face. On Wednesday, CPM announced that it had lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against Singhvi after finding some “discrepancies” in his nomination papers, and demanded that they be cancelled.
In the Rajya Sabha polls which will be held on March 23, six candidates from the state are in the fray for five seats. While TMC fielded its candidates for four seats and extended its support to Singhvi from the fifth seat, the Left Front nominated CPM leader Rabin Deb against Singhvi.
Deb’s March 15 letter addressed to the Chief Election Commission stated, “Since the affidavit in form 26 filed by Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi does not bear the signature of the notary public in each page, it cannot be said to be an affidavit in the eye of the law…There is every reason to believe that the affidavit…filed by Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi is a forged one in as much as part of the affidavit is typed while the rest part is hand written. The notary public before whom the said affidavit was allegedly affirmed did not even put his seal and signature on the hand-written portion of the affidavit.”
Singhvi, who was in Kolkata on Thursday, said, “CPM’s allegations are petty to the point of being puerile. They are malicious, baseless, unfounded, defamatory and false. They have raised childish objections on March 12 during the submission of nomination forms. Yesterday, they raised objections that the notary public has stamped but not signed (on affidavits) and that my own statement which I own up to is forged. Most importantly, they raised a very malicious and false allegation about my age. It was comic if not tragic. Since the CPM knows and is convinced about its defeat, they are now challenging my 2006 declaration on a typographical error without challenging my declaration in 2018 or 2012.”
“They (CPM) have purportedly referred to some pages in my 2006 affidavit for Rajya Sabha election from Rajasthan to suggest that I claimed to be 43 years in 2006 and hence cannot be 59 today,” Singhvi told reporters here, according to PTI. He further said that he would explore legal steps to file a defamation suit against Deb but added that he has not taken a final decision.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Deb said, “The EC has sought a report from the returning officer of RS polls. We will await a reply from the EC. If it appears unsatisfactory, we will explore the possibility of filing an election petition.”