Indian Presidential Elections-2012: Allegations, Acrimony And Suspense!
Campaigning for the 14th Presidential Elections-2012 started in full swing from June 30, 2012 after the two contesting candidates filed their nominations on 28th June. While the citizens of India hoped for a dignified contest things threatened to take an acrimonious turn due to allegations and elements of desperation.
PA Sangma, the self-styled candidate initially proposed by a regional party of the eastern state of Odisha and ultimately supported by the national opposition party, was seemingly desperate to reach the Raisina Hill (the Presidential palace or Rashtrapati Bhavan is located in this area) playing on his tribal card and on the first ever tribal president of the country phenomenon stoutly. On July 2 his desperation became vocal as he chose to attack Pranab Mukherjee, the candidate supported by the ruling alliance and most other major political parties.
Sangma demanded Mukherjee’s candidature be cancelled as Mukherjee was ineligible for the contest by allegedly holding on to an office of profit on the date of his filing nominations. Mukherjee was the Chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata. His poll managers immediately pointed out that Mukherjee resigned from the post on June 20 and that the office was also an honorary one, and that the concerned documents were already submitted. On July 3, on the basis of those documents the returning officer rejected Sangma’s claims and confirmed the existence of the two candidates for the elections on. Things did not end there though.
Sangma, now backed by his national ally, went on to allege that the documents were forged and asked the returning officer as to how he rejected the claims. As it was becoming increasingly acrimonious the Election Commission decided to ask the returning officer to show the documents. Alleging further that the papers were prepared in the last minute to save Mukherjee’s nomination PA Sangma and his political sponsors had kept even the option of approaching the courts open.Continued on the next page