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Pranab's resignation from ISI NOT genuine: Swaraj

Last updated on: July 6, 2012 23:23 IST

Image: Sushma Swaraj

Launching a fresh attack on United Progressive Alliance's presidential nominee Pranab Mukerjee, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Friday alleged that his signatures -- on the papers he put in while resigning from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata -- were not genuine.

Swaraj, who was at Kangra in Himachal to inaugurate the three-day meeting of the National Executive of the Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha, said, "It is painful that Pranab forgot to resign from the post of ISI chairman, an office of profit, and when the BJP raised doubts, he submitted a resignation that had forged signatures on it."

Contending that Mukherjee had not quit the post of ISI chairman before filing his nomination for presidential polls, the BJP leader said his papers should have been rejected by the Returning Officer since the post was an "office of profit", which was a ground for disqualification if the candidate held the post at the time of filing nominations.

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'Even a small kid can spot the difference'

Terming Mukherjee's resignation as "fake", Swaraj alleged that in a bid to save the UPA nominee's papers, a letter of resignation was prepared hurriedly and a forged signature was put on it.

Stating that the difference in signatures of Pranab Mukherjee in his nomination papers and the resignation letter were clearly discernible, she said, "Even a small kid can spot the difference between Mukherjee's signature on his nomination papers and the resignation letter."

Swaraj said what substantiated the charge against Mukherjee was the date on the resignation letter. She questioned how it was possible that a letter sent to the ISI on June 20 reached Kolkata the very same day, was accepted and sent back to Delhi.

"The resignation letter has no official seal of the ISI on it; instead it was written on the letterhead of the finance minister," claimed Swaraj, adding that neither the finance minister nor the ISI had made any official entry of the letter in its records.

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Tags: ISI , UPA , Swaraj , Kolkata

'May take the matter to court'

Image: APJ Abdul Kalam

Asked if the BJP will submit a complaint to the Chief Election Commissioner against the order of the Returning Officer rejecting Sangma's objections and demand to disqualify Mukherjee, Swaraj said it was for Sangma to decide.

"There is also an option to take the matter to court," said Swaraj, adding that though the courts do not intervene once the election process is set in motion, they may do so if someone had committed fraud.

She also accused the UPA of not taking the consent of all political parties before projecting Mukherjee as the presidential nominee.

"We had taken the consent of the opposition before projecting APJ Abdul Kalam as the Presidential candidate during the NDA regime," she said.

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