Raj Narain doesn’t figure in freedom fighters list
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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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