Pankaj Sharma/Zee Research Group
How seriously should one take the affidavits filed by politicians trying their luck at the ongoing polls?
Considered to the gospel truth by the voter, the affidavits are prone to misrepresentation. While the verdict is not out on whether it is by design or by accident, a study of select affidavits reveals a telling story.
A limited study of age mentioned in affidavits shows politicians either refuse to age with the time or age ahead of time.
Zee Research Group (ZRG) lists nine such candidates where inconsistency in the ages has been witnessed. The analysis shows significant deviation between the current age of these candidates and the age reported in their previous affidavits.
For instance, Abdul Bari Siddiqui who is contesting the 2014 polls from Madhubani on RJD ticket had also fought the previous general elections from the same constituency. Interestingly, one more thing which is common to his both attempts is that his age hasn’t changed in these five years. In his both (2004 and 2009) affidavits, he declared 62 as his age.
Surprisingly, Siddiqui is not alone as about nine such contenders have been found to tweak their age in this election. Mullappally Ramachandran, Congress nominee from Vadakara, declared his age in the latest affidavit as 67 years. However, while filing the affidavit for 2009 polls he reported his age as 64. So in the period of five years, he grew older by three years only.
Likewise, Bodh Singh Bhagat of BJP who is contesting from Balaghat declared 57 as his age. Interestingly, while filling the affidavit for 2008 Madhya Pradesh assembly polls, he declared 54 as his age. It means in a span of six years his age grew by only three years.
Samajwadi Party’s nominee from Aligarh in the ongoing polls, Zafar Alam filed 69 as his age. However, five years ago in 2009, he declared 66 as his age. Another SP candidate from Chatra, Keshwar Yadav has posted 50 as his age in current elections. But, in the affidavit filed with ECI during previous Lok Sabha polls, he displayed 47 as his age.
Similarly, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress candidate from Ulluberia, Sultan Ahmed has posted his current age as 58. However, he reported 56 as his age in 2009.
On the contrary, age of some candidates has grown more than the years passed. Samajwadi Party candidate, Shailendra Kumar (from Kaushambi) is one such politician. In 2009, Kumar declared his age as 49 but in 2014 it has increased to 56. More so, party’s Badaun candidate Dharmendra Yadav mentioned 30 as his age during last general elections. However, in 2014 his age has increased to 37 years.
Moreover, RJD candidate from Darbhanga, Mohd Ali Ashraf Fatmi declared 60 as his current age. But, in 2009 he mentioned his age as 53 in his affidavit with ECI.