Raj Narain doesn’t figure in freedom fighters list

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 18:20

New Delhi: `Lok Bandhu` Raj Narain, who
defeated former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in her own pocket
borough soon after Emergency, does not figure in the list of
freedom fighters from Uttar Pradesh though he played an active
role in 1942 Quit India Movement.

The issue was came up during a hearing of the Central
Information Commission on an appeal by grandson of the leader,
Dharmendra Singh, against an RTI reply given to him Home
Ministry.

In the reply, Home Ministry has said that as per the
computerised list with it, the name of Raj Narain was not
found either in sanction or rejection register of the Uttar
Pradesh.

The Home Ministry`s FFR Division implements the
Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme, 1980 under which
persons who participated in the national freedom struggle
are granted `samman pension` provided they fulfill the
eligibility and evidentiary requirements under the said
scheme, it said.

In his appeal, Singh said the reply is misleading and
false information.

However, the Central Information Commission did not find
any "infirmity" in the reply provided by the Home Ministry.

Information Commissioner Sushma Singh noted that it is
not for the Home Ministry officials to declare the leader a
freedom fighter.

She said the decision to give status of freedom fighter
has to be reached by the Uttar Pradesh Government and only
when state government sanctions the name of a person under the
scheme, can the MHA grant pension to such person.

"If the name of Shri Raj Narain does not appear in that
list maintained by the Respondent (MHA), then the reasons
thereof can be best provided by the state government of the
state of UP," Information Commissioner Sushma Singh said.

She said it was implied in the CPIO`s reply that the
particular information which was being sought by the appellant
was not maintained by it.

"Therefore, there is no infirmity in the order passed by
the CPIO of the Respondent authority," she said.

Socialist leader Raj Narain took active participation in
the independence movement and was jailed several times. He
became a member of parliament in 1966.

Narain levelled allegations of electoral fraud against
the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi which were upheld by
Allahabad High Court in 1975.

Known for wearing a green bandana, the maverick leader
contested 1977 elections from Rai Bareli which was the pocket
borough of Gandhi and defeated her, becoming the only leader
to do so. He died in 1987 at the age of 69.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 18:20

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