The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday cried foul after the returning officer accepted Gujarat Congress leader Naran Rathwa’s nomination for a Rajya Sabha seat, ANI reported. The BJP claimed that Rathwa had submitted a fake No Dues Certificate and failed to mention serious criminal cases in his affidavit to the Election Commission.
A BJP delegation led by Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Rajya Sabha MP Bhupender Yadav reached the Election Commission’s office in New Delhi to apprise the poll monitor of its complaints against Rathwa’s nomination.
Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal claimed that there were irregularities in the nomination form of Congress leader PK Valera too. Valera has decided to contest as an independent for the elections due on March 23.
“We have informed the Election Commission about the irregularities in the nomination forms of Congress Rajya Sabha candidate Naran Rathwa and independent PK Valera,” Goyal told reporters. “There is no proper mention of criminal cases in Rathwa’s affidavit.”
However, Rathwa denied the allegations. He claimed that senior BJP leaders had “brought in lawyers” to put pressure on the returning officer not to accept his nomination.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accused the BJP of playing a “lowly game”. “The BJP played this lowly game during Ahmed Patel’s election and now again,” Surjewala said. “But Rathwa’s nomination is absolutely correct and he will win comfortably.”
The BJP has fielded union ministers Purshottam Rupala, Mansukh Mandavia and former MLA Kiritsinh Rana, while the Congress has nominated Amiben Yagnik and tribal leader Naren Rathwa for elections on four seats.