Sangma objection struck down, Pranab stays in the race
- India, China call for end to incursion issue, sign 8 deals to boost ties
- Aarushi murder case: Rajesh Talwar claims he was asleep when killings took place
- Railgate: BJP protests against CBI DIG for shielding Pawan Bansal
- Spot-Fixing: Sreesanth reveals bookies lured India players with cars, women
- Jagan Reddy case: Accused Andhra ministers Sabitha, Dharmana Rao resign
Pranab Mukherjee and P A Sangma are now officially in the race for Presidentship, after the Rajya Sabha Secretary General, who is the returning officer for the elections, on Tuesday rejected a complaint by Sangma seeking cancellation of Mukherjee's candidature on the ground that he continued to hold an office of profit even after filing his nomination.
Rajya Sabha Secretary General V K Agnihotri gave his ruling in favour of the UPA nominee after going through Mukherjee's response submitted by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal, his election representative. The response included a copy of the resignation letter Mukherjee had submitted to the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, stepping down from the chairperson's post on June 20.
Agnihotri also rejected a second complaint filed by another candidate who had sought cancellation of nomination papers of both Mukherjee and Sangma. Home Minister P Chidambaram and Bansal argued Mukherjee's case before the returning officer.
"After making summary inquiries, as required under the relevant provisions of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections Act, 1952, regarding scrutiny of the nomination papers and after hearing both the parties in both the cases today, I, in my capacity as Returning Officer, overruled the objections raised in both cases today as they were untenable and lacked merit under the provisions of the Act and in the light of various judgments of the Supreme Court of India," Agnihotri told reporters after the scrutiny process ended Tuesday evening.
He then announced that the nomination papers of only two candidates, Mukherjee and Sangma, have been found valid. The date of withdrawal of nominations ends Wednesday and election will be held on July 19, with counting on July 22.
Sangma, who was present during the scrutiny process in the Parliament complex, left without speaking to the media shortly after Agnihotri gave his ruling. However, the BJP, which is backing Sangma, indicated later that it was not satisfied with the ruling and would not give up its protest on the issue.
- Former Ranji player among 3 more held
- Rajasthan Royals to file FIR against tainted trio
- If found guilty, BCCI to ask ICC to erase Sreesanth records
- Top cops among 42 named in death of blast accused
- Manmohan-Li talks: PM takes tough line on incursion issue
- Security forces blame Maoists, villagers say CoBRA man was killed in 'friendly fire'