KOLKATA: Alo Rani Sarkar, who unsuccessfully contested as a BJP and Trinamool Congress candidate in the 2016 and 2021 Assembly elections respectively, has dual citizenship, the Calcutta High Court said, while passing an order on her petition challenging the poll result.
Her petition challenging the victory of BJP candidate in Bongaon (South) constituency was dismissed by the court on the grounds that her name also appears in the voters’ list in neighbouring Bangladesh. The court asked the Election Commission of India to take necessary action.
"The petitioner cannot claim to be a citizen of India when her name appeared in the electoral roll of Bangladesh. The principle of dual citizenship is not applicable in India. It is admitted from the documents filed by the petitioner that on the date of filing of the nomination paper by her, she was a Bangladeshi national," Justice Bibek Chaudhuri said in his order.
Alo lost to BJP’s Swapan Majumdar in the 2021 Assembly elections by a margin of 2004 votes. She also contested as a BJP candidate from Bijpur Assembly constituency in 2016 but failed to win.
Alo’s lawyer claimed in court that though born in Bengal’s Hooghly district in 1969, she became a Bangladeshi citizen after her marriage to Dr Harendra Nath Sarkar in 1980 but she has left him because of matrimonial issues and returned to India. The lawyer also said she enrolled her name in the electoral roll of Bangladesh in 2012 "by mistake" and it came to her notice in 2020 when she requested the Election Commission secretariat at Dhaka to delete it.
Referring to the high court order, BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari tweeted, "TMC is guilty of violating the Sub-section 5 of Section 29A of The Representation of People’s Act. Trying to get a foreign national elected, they failed to bear allegiance to the Constitution of India by compromising the sovereignty, unity & integrity of India."