New Delhi: Opposition Presidential nominee PA Sangma today sought cancellation of nomination of UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee under the Office of Profit rules on the ground that he is still the Chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), a claim that has been denied by the institute.
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.
Mukherjee held the post while he was Finance Minister, which he resigned from before filing his nomination for the presidential poll.
Jain said that Mukherjee is chairperson of ISI and, hence, cannot contest the Presidential poll under the Office of Profit rules.
Today is the last day for scrutiny of forms for the Presidential election. The last date of withdrawal of candidature is 4 July.
Asked about the complaint, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal told reporters here, “We will get back.”
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.