Sangma camp may move poll petition against Pranab

New Delhi: Opposition nominee P A Sangma`s camp, which has sought re-scrutiny of Pranab Mukherjee`s nomination papers by the Election Commission, today did not rule out moving an election petition in the Supreme Court if it failed to get a favourable order from the poll panel.

Sangma`s `personal advisor` Subramanian Swamy and his authorised representative Satya Pal Jain said here that as soon as they receive the EC`s directions on their petition, they would decide on the next course of action. "Let the EC`s order come. We will go step by step as per the settled procedure of law…all options are open. As soon as the EC decision comes, we will take a decision," Jain told a press conference after submitting a written petition to the poll panel.

Members of Sangma`s central election committee had on Saturday last made an oral submission before the EC seeking re-scrutiny of UPA nominee Mukherjee`s nomination papers. They said election petitions have been made against seven former Presidents, including Zail Singh and K R Narayanan.

Swamy said the Returning Officer (Rajya Sabha Secretary General V K Agnihotri) while accepting the papers of Mukherjee has neither dealt nor decided many of the objections raised by Jain. "The RO did not decide the issue regarding the genuineness of the resignation letter, its validity and its acceptance…. M G K Menon (President, ISI) cannot accept the resignation. Mukherjee was elected by the governing council and it can only accept the resignation," he said.

He claimed that if Mukherjee has "some self respect", he should himself tell the EC that we was ready for a probe into his signatures. "It is my personal opinion, that otherwise he should withdraw from the race," Swamy said.

Swamy and Jain claimed that they have got the signatures of Mukherjee on the resignation letter to the Indian Statistical Institute examined by a "reputed" forensic expert who has opined that "the signature dated June 20 seem to be different in comparison to the signature dated July 3 (on Mukherjee`s nomination paper)".

They have enclosed the forensic report with their submission to the EC. Swamy said after the controversy over Mukherjee`s nomination papers, leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati should re-think on their support to him. Without naming, he also requested parties like the JD (U) to support Sangma`s candidature.

Opposing the Returning Officer`s decision, Jain said they have made three submissions before the EC and sought its intervention. As per rules, the EC has powers to intervene as the election process is on, he said, adding that under Article 324 the EC has overall jurisdiction over the conduct and supervision of all elections.