Shekhawat, Pratibha Patil cannot use government cars
Wednesday July 4 2007 00:00 IST
NEW DELHI: Both the Presidential candidates - Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Pratibha Patil - cannot make use of the government machinery including cars and aircrafts during the campaign.
Responding to the clarification sought by Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister PR Dasmunshi on the expenditure during campaign and the use of government machinery, the Election Commission prohibited the Presidential candidates from using the government, besides the political functionaries accompanying candidates
In a statement, the Election Commission said "The candidate irrespective of the office held by him or her in the past or at present has to undertake his/her election campaign in his or her individual capacity.
The expenditure on this account has to be borne by him/her or by any political party that supports his or her candidature. The provisions of section 171H of the Indian Penal Code will be applicable in this regard.
Besides, it is clarified that the candidate cannot use any government machinery including government vehicle or aircraft for the purpose of election campaign".
Election Commission also said " Any minister of Union Government or State Government who accompanies the candidate during election campaign will be doing so in his or her individual capacity. Hence, he /she has to use the private vehicle only".
The Election Commission did not put objection to the candidate meeting the members of the Electoral College in any reception, breakfast or dinner or in any other get-together organized by any Chief Minister or Union or State Minister or any political party.
However, no expenditure can be incurred out of State exchequer in organizing any such reception, breakfast, dinner or get-together for promoting the candidature of any candidate.
The expenditure can be incurred by any Chief Minister or Union or State Ministers in their individual capacities or by any political party that supports the candidature of the said candidate and organizes such reception subject to the fulfilment of the provision of section 171H of the IPC.
Withdraw presidential candidate, Jaya to UPA
Wednesday July 4 2007 13:08 IST
CHENNAI: AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday said that either the UPA should withdraw Pratibha Patil’s candidature or she herself should withdraw from the contest “in the interest of the nation.”
Addressing a press conference at the AIADMK headquarters here, Jayalalithaa said at no point of time had the highest Constitutional post been subjected to such a criticism.
This was the first time the Presidential election was conducted totally against the will and wish of the nation.
Sonia Gandhi wanted a person pliable and ready to do her bidding. Asked about Pratibha’s denial of all the allegations against her, Jayalalithaa said, “no one in the country is convinced by her reply”.
Welcoming the demand of the BJP that guidelines should be drawn for those contesting the Presidential elections, she said the founding fathers of the Constitution would have never envisaged that a person of poor credentials would contest the Presidential elections. Had President APJ Abdul Kalam agreed to contest, he would have won.
Many in the Congress would have voted for him as Pratibha was just a ‘favourite choice’ of a few politicians like Sonia Gandhi and Karunanidhi, the AIADMK leader said.
“Kalam’s refusal has become the nation’s loss now”, she said and added that the nation was standing embarrased in the eyes of the world because of the candidature of Pratibha against whom a number of charges had been levelled.”
Strongly denying that the UNPA had caused embarrassment to Kalam by proposing his name belatedly, the AIADMK leader said the Front had done everything at the right time and in the interest of the nation.
“Before proposing our candidate, the Front leaders wanted to know who would be the candidate of the Congress,” she added.
She pointed out that though the UNPA had proposed the name of Kalam a little later, the NDA had come forward to support him.
On the UNPA’s decision to abstain from the Presidential elections, she said the collective decision of the Front would be announced once TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu returned from the US.
However, Jayalalithaa said that the Front had already made it clear that it would support the candidate named by the NDA.
SC dismisses PIL against Patil's nomination as Prez candidate
Wednesday July 4 2007 00:00 IST
NEW DELHI: Supreme Court has on Tuesday declined to entertain the public interest litigation petition filed by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma seeking a direction from the apex court to cancel the candidature of UPA-Left Presidential candidate Pratibha Patil.
A Bench comprising Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Justice P K Balasubramanyan said: This is a petition filed under Article 32. There is no ground to interfere. However, this will not prevent the petitioner from approaching the appropriate authority for redressal of his grievance.
There is no material to substantiate your charges. Do we believe whatever you allege, the Bench asked the petitioner who appeared as party-in person. To this, the petitioner told the Bench that he himself had visited Jalgaon, met the district collector.
"I tried my best to get (the material), but couldn't," he said. On the allegation of the petitioner that Pratibha Patil is an undischarged insolvent, the Bench told him that unless a court declares one as such after proceedings under the Insolvency Act, none can be declared so.
At one stage, the Bench told the petitioner to reserve the material for an election petition. Towards the end of the hearing, the bench told him that it is better he withdraw the petition and move the Election Commission.
"Is it a private interest litigation or a public interest litigation?" the Bench asked Sharma at another stage. Sharma pleaded with the Bench either to refer the matter to a Constitution Bench or direct the authorities concerned for production of the necessary documents. But the Bench did not concur with him.
The petitioner in his petition alleged that many irregularities were committed by Pratibha Patil and her family members in a cooperative bank and a sugar mill.
That Pratibha Patil was an undischarged insolvent with regard to the Sant Muktai Sugar Factory set up by her at Jalgaon. A loan of Rs 17.7 crore was due as on 1994 when she was a part of it.
After the order was dictated, the Bench, looking at Solicitor General G E Vahanavati, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanyan and senior advocate Abhisekh Singhvi, who were present in the first row to defend the stand of the UPA government, remarked that it was impressed by the presence of the top guns.
The New Indian Express ePaper
Probe MPLADS “misuse” by Pratibha: NDA
New Delhi: The NDA on Saturday petitioned Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to refer to the privileges committee media reports that the UPA-Left presidential candidate Pratibha Patil sanctioned Rs. 36 lakh to a family-run trust from her MPLADS funds as Lok Sabha member in 1995.
In its memorandum, the National Democratic Alliance, which is supporting Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, also cited news reports that the Maharashtra Government leased a 25,000-square feet plot to the Vidya Bharati Shikshan Sanstha this year and Amaravati authorities permitted it to build a sports complex from that amount.
“How can unutilised funds under MPLADS be used 11 years after the expiry of her tenure as MP [in the Lok Sabha]?” the NDA asked. BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who filed the complaint, said that according to MPLAD (Member of Parliament Local Area Development) Scheme rules, no funding to societies and trusts was permissible if the recommending MP or any of his/her family members was part of the managing committee. The NDA referred to the reports, which said the organisation was set up by Ms. Patil’s husband Devisingh Shekhawat.
“Hasn’t Pratibha Patil violated this rule? Isn’t it a far more serious offence if a person aspiring to become the President of India knowingly violates these rules?”
The NDA, which maintained that Ms. Patil had not rebutted point-by-point the allegations made against her in connection with her role as the head of a cooperative, said the Speaker should refer the MPLADS matter to the ethics or privileges committee. — PTI
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