Jammu: In an embarrassment to BJP, one of its leaders has filed nomination papers from the Ramban seat to contest the upcoming assembly elections, even as the party had not declared his name for the constituency.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had announced Neelam Langeh as its candidate for the reserve seat of Ramban on November 2 along with 45 other candidates at the central election committee that met in New Delhi.
However, BJP leader Girdhari Lal filed his nomination papers from the seat with Assistant Returning officer (ARO) Ramban Dr Tahir Firdous yesterday.
Reacting to the development, the party said that it will see what action can be taken against the leader.
Neelam Langeh told PTI, "I was busy with election campaigning yesterday and I do not know how Girdhari Lal got hold of the party nomination papers which were meant for me. While I am the official party candidate, he submitted the nomination papers in his own name."
"This is a fraud and this man has challenged party leadership including party president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Langeh said.
According to party sources, in order to avoid any mistake in the spelling of the candidate's name, the nomination form is sent to the candidate to be filed in his own hand-writing.
"Girdhari Lal got the form which was meant for Neelam Langeh and he submitted the same under his name," a senior party leader said.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has said that action would be taken against Girdhari Lal for "misleading" the authorities.
However, Langeh alleged the role of Assistant Returning
Officer in the controversy. "How is it possible that when the party had declared my name, the ARO accepted the form submitted by another person?," the leader said.
"I went by the rules and guidelines set by Election Commission of India. When the individual came along with all the required papers and the bank deposit, I accepted his papers," Assistant Returning officer Ramban Dr Tahir Firdous told PTI.
Maintaining that Langeh is party's official candidate for Ramban seat, party MP from Hoshiarpur and party in-charge for Jammu and Kashmir Avinash Rai Khanna said, "There was a provision in the rules set by the Election Commission of India wherein the party can send a fresh nomination form and the nomination of Girdhari Lal can be cancelled.
"If the BJP leadership files a formal complaint I can initiate action against the individual as per law. There is a provision in the law by which the party can file fresh nomination papers for its official candidate," the ARO said.
Meanwhile, the official party candidate said that he has received a fresh nomination form from the party head office and would submit the same in a day or two.
"Dr Jitendra Singh MoS in PMO would accompany me to file the fresh nomination papers," Langeh said.
Girdhari Lal could not be contacted for his comments.