New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday demanded that the candidature of AAP nominee N.D. Gupta for the the Rajya Sabha election from Delhi be rejected on the ground he holds an office of profit. The AAP said its candidate had already resigned from the post before filing his nomination.
"(The) Congress has filed objection at scrutiny of AAP Rajya Sabha candidate N.D. Gupta," Delhi Congress Chief Ajay Maken tweeted. He also posted his letter to the Returning Officer for Biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha from Delhi to be held on January 16.
Calling Gupta a supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP and the GST, Maken said he was appointed a trustee of the government-owned Rs 1.75 lakh crore National Pension Scheme Trust on March 30, 2015 and "still holds this office of profit as on date. (He is) ineligible to contest".
Three Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidates -- party leader Sanjay Singh, businessman Sushil Gupta and Chartered Accountant N.D. Gupta -- filed their nominations on Thursday.
The Congress leader has sent his obkjection to the Returning Officer, demanding that the nomination should be rejected under "Section 36 of the Representation of People Act, 1951 read with Article 102 of the Constitution of India for holding an office of profit".
He said the the trust discharges government function that of being the custodian of pensions of lakhs government employees. "In other words, it was almost an extension of the Ministry of Finance and Department of Pension.
"Therefore the office of the Trustee of the NPS, which N.D. Gupta holds, is an office of profit which virtually discharges the functions of the government itself."
The former union minister said the office of a trustee is entitled to renumeration, emoluments, perks and other facilities and that the office was not protected under the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959.
AAP leader Raghav Chadha dismissed the objection, saying Gupta had resigned from the post of trustee of the NPS on December 29, 2017.
"Section 3, clause (L) of the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 gives exemption to trustee from disqualification under office of profit. Also, Returning Officer is not competent authority to adjudicate on (office of profit), EC (Election Commission) is. Frivolous objections to gain cheap publicity by (the) Congress," Chadha tweeted.
"Moreover, in the spirit of propriety, N.D. Gupta had resigned from the prestigious NPS Trust on 29.12.2017, that is, before filing his nomination.
"This should put to rest frivolous complaints, controversy by people trying to find relevance in Delhi politics."