SAMBALPUR: The BJD nominee for Sambalpur Parliamentary constituency, Nalinikanta Pradhan, heaved a sigh of relief after his nomination was found valid after scrutiny on Saturday. The BJP, on the other hand, alleged that Nalinikanta manipulated his documents to validate his nomination.
On Friday, the BJP had moved the returning officer of Sambalpur Parliamentary constituency Subham Saxena seeking rejection of nomination papers of Nalinikanta for holding the post of nominee director of Odisha State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation Limited and director of Odisha Construction Corporation (OCC) Limited, which comes under office of profit. It was also alleged that Nalinikanta had left many columns in the nomination papers blank.
The returning officer adjourned the scrutiny by a day after objection was filed against Nalinikanta. Saxena said the BJD candidate produced requisite documents and after verifying them, it was found out that Nalinikanta did not hold any office of profit. On blank columns in the nomination papers, Saxena said the decision to hold the nomination valid has been taken after following the guidelines of the Election Commission.
Nalinikanta said he had resigned from Odisha State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation Limited and OCC Limited on February 28 this year. On the same day, he had resigned from the post of Engineer-in-Chief-cum-Secretary of Works Department. “The BJP is trying to mislead people by raising false allegations,” he added.
The BJP candidate from the Parliamentary constituency, Nitesh Ganga Deb, said the BJD had mala fide intention in seeking time for producing documents. “Nalinikanta got the opportunity to manipulate documents and surprisingly, the returning officer also ignored the blank columns,” he alleged, adding that he will move the High Court over the issue.
Nitesh’s lawyer Siddharth Prasad Dash said the returning officer admitted to the blank columns during the scrutiny but illogically held the nomination valid. It is violation of the guidelines of the Election Commission, he pointed out.