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Breather for Linda, Oraon fumes

Ranchi, March 25: Gumla deputy commissioner-cum-returning officer Veena Shrivastava today gave a clean chit to Trinamul Congress’s Lohardaga nominee Chamra Linda, rejecting allegations that he held an office of profit.

Congress candidate from Lohardaga Rameshwar Oraon yesterday filed a complaint with the returning officer, demanding that Linda’s candidature be declared null and void because he was holding a “post of profit”.

Today, with the administration turning down his plea, Oraon announced that he would approach the judiciary with the matter.

In his plea, Oraon contended that Linda happened to be the chairman of Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited and had been given a vehicle, a driver and a personal assistant by the company. The Trinamul candidate concealed the information in his nomination papers, Oraon alleged.

However, after the scrutiny, Shrivastava observed that whether Linda was holding an office of profit was not clear.

“Linda’s both set of nomination papers were found to be correct,” Shrivastava told The Telegraph over telephone.

But, Oraon is not convinced. “The deputy commissioner is playing a partisan role. I am talking to legal experts on the issue. We will approach the high court or the Supreme Court very soon.”

The former IPS officer argued, “In a case involving Jaya Bachchan, the apex court had clearly said that anyone availing accommodation, official vehicles, drivers and personal staff from a government or semi-government organisation would be considered to be holding an office of profit.”

Sources said Oraon and Linda had always been at loggerheads, especially after the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

Oraon had defeated BJP’s Dukha Bhagat to win the Lohardaga seat in 2004. But he lost the seat in 2009 apparently because of Linda, who joined the fray as an Independent and divided the anti-BJP votes. Ultimately, Sudarshan Bhagat of the BJP won the election.

Thereafter, Linda won the Bishunpur Assembly constituency (a part of Lohardaga Lok Sabha seat) as a Rashtriya Kalyan Paksha candidate and went on to become the TVNL chairman in lieu of his support to the Hemant Soren government.

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