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Pranab’s nomination accepted

Not willing to give up the presidential race without a fight, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fired another salvo at the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday. It claimed that the letter of resignation that Mukherjee showed, in which he claimed that he had quit as the chairperson of Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), is not genuine.

'The resignation filed by Pranab Mukherjee is fabricated and it is unfortunate that people contesting for such high office are indulging in such activities,' said the BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar. The BJP leader also claimed that Mukherjee's signature in the letter to the returning officer did not tally with his signature in the letter to ISI, which was dated 20 July.

The BJP had raised objections on Mukherjee's presidential nomination on Monday, arguing that he cannot run for the highest office as he continues to hold an office of profit as chairperson of ISI. The returning officer V K Agnihotri dismissed the objections and accepted the nomination papers of Mukherjee on Tuesday. The returning officer held that Mukherjee had resigned when he filed the nomination papers on 28 June.

ISI also came out in the defence of Mukherjee and said the allegations made by the BJP were false. 'The letter is still with me and I know his signature. It cannot be forged,' said Bimal Roy, director of ISI. The director added that Mukhejee as sent his resignation on 20 June and he had received it two days later.

Pawan Kumar Bansal, the minister for parliamentary affairs and Mukherjee's election agent, said that the matter had ended now as the decision of returning officer could not be challenged in a civil court.

The BJP is now exploring legal options to take on Mukherjee in the presidential fight.
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