New Delhi, July 4 (IBNS): United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday rejected accusations by his opponent P A Sangma's camp that he had hastily fabricated a resignation letter to save his nomination.
Sangma's camp on Monday had objected to Mukherjee's candidacy for the Presidential election stating that the former Union Finance Minister still held an office of profit as the Chairman of Kolkata's Indian Statistical Institute (ISI).
However, the charge was rejected the same day by the government that said Mukherjee had resigned from the post a week ahead of filing his nomination and provided the required documents to the Returning Officer who in turn okayed them.
However, refusing to accept the clarification, P A Sangma, a former Lok Sabha speaker has written to the Returning Officer and demanded for a copy of the detailed order that rejected objections raised by him against Mukherjee, media reports said on Wednesday.
According to reports, he asked the Returning Officer to give a copy of the order by 5 pm on Wednesday.
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that is supporting Sanga against the ruling Congress-backed Mukherjee has also claimed that the resignation letter and the acceptance was fabricated at the last moment to save Mukherjee’s nomination.
"BJP alleges that it is a 100 percent fabricated document... it's very unfortunate that persons contesting such offices as President of India are indulging in illegal activities. We are demanding justice from the Election Commission," BJP General Secretary Ananth Kumar said Tuesday.
BJP leader SS Ahluwalia has said the party will take decisions on upcoming moves after receiving a copy of the detailed order by the Returning Officer.
Appearing amused at the charges of fabricating his resignation letter, Mukherjee on Wednesday said: "Who has forged my signature? I myself? If I have forged my signature myself then what is the point? Somebody else forges signature of others. Who can forge his own signature?”
Sangma on Wednesday had a meeting with BJP leader Sushma Swaraj at her residence in New Delhi that was attended by party leaders like SS Ahluwalia and Ananth Kumar.
On Tuesday, nominations of both Mukherjee and Sangma were accepted despite the BJP going to the extent of a press conference to allege that Mukherjee was holding an office of profit when he filed his nomination and a letter submitted as evidence that he was not, was carrying a forged signature.
The Sangma group alleged that Mukherjee held an office of profit as the chairman of the Kolkata-based Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) when he filed the nomination, but the returning officer rejected the charges and accepted the nomination of Mukherjee.
BJP leader Ananth Kumar Tuesday said: "The resignation letter [dated June 20] and the acceptance is a complete fabrication. The order of the returning officer is flawed. We expect the Election Commission to do justice. We will wait for a written order from the returning officer."
Earlier, Pranab Mukherjee denied the charges by issuing a written statement.
"I deny the averments. The objections have no factual basis and in fact are false," he said adding that he tendered his resignation on June 20 and it was accepted the same day.
"The objection that I hold office of profit is misconceived and untenable," he said.
India’s Presidential election is scheduled for an electoral college vote on July 19.