Kandhamal BJD MP Disqualification Issue: BJP Proposes, HC Dismisses

BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha High Court on Thursday rejected an election petition filed by senior BJP leader Rudra Madhab Ray questioning the citizenship of BJD MP Pratyusha Rajeswari.

Adjudicating over the petition, the court ordered it null and void.

Rudra Madhav Ray, after unsuccessfully contesting the Kandhamal by-election in October last year, had filed an election petition in the court questioning Pratyusha’s origin and nationality.Kandhamal MP Pratyusha Rajeswari

Ray had challenged the incumbent Kandhamal MP’s election saying that Rajeswari did not qualify to be an MP as she is a citizen of Nepal and has not yet accepted Indian citizenship.

Earlier, the court had served notices to Pratyusha, Election Commission of India, State Election Officer, Lok Sabha Speaker, Kandhamal and Nayagarh district collectors.

“The court dismissed Ray’s election petition and allowed the miscellaneous case filed by Rajeswari seeking to quash the plea. The HC rejected the petition on the ground that it was not maintainable,” Rajeswari’s lawyer Upendra Samal said.

Rajeswari, the widow of former Kandhamal MP Hemendra Singh, had won the by-poll by defeating Ray by a whopping 2,98, 868 votes margin.

Rajeswari had secured 4,77,529 votes, while the former MP from Kandhamal polled 1,78,661 votes in the elections in the communally sensitive and Maoist-hit constituency.

By-poll in the constituency was necessitated following the demise of Hemendra Singh, who had won the seat in the Lok Sabha polls held in April 2014.

During the poll campaigning, Bolangir Congress MLA and leader of opposition Narsingha Mishra had claimed that Pratyusha was a citizen of Nepal.