Odisha

Achyuta Samanta Defends Rajya Sabha Candidature

**Bhubaneswar: ** As KIIT and KISS founder Achyuta Samanta has been embroiled in raging controversies soon after he has become ruling BJD’s Rajya Sabha nominee and complainants demanding rejection of his nomination papers, Samanta on the day of scrutiny defended his candidature rebuffing all charges levelled against him.

As nominations of his as well as two other BJD ticket holders (Prashanta Nanda and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik) was declared eligible after scrutiny today for the ensuing elections on March 23 to the Upper House of the Parliament, Achyuta Samanta defended, “Whatever I have sworn in my affidavit filed with my nomination papers are absolutely true. Anyone can challenge it.”

On being queried about his alleged two voter IDs and names in the voter lists of two places, pat came his reply, “No, only one. My native village identity has been cancelled and closed much earlier. No pending police complaint. Nobody dares to tell a lie in a sworn affidavit.”

On the contrary, social activist Subash Mohapatra, whose Rajya Sabha nomination was rejected after scrutiny, claimed, “Even though four criminal cases are pending against him, Achyuta Samanta has hidden the fact. He also holds office of profit as he is the president of Indian Science Congress which is under the Department of Science and Technology and also an autonomous body of Government of India. Hence, despite being in office of profit, his nomination has been accepted. Our future course of action is knocking the door of justice in the Orissa High Court. We seek justice and are optimistic that this matter will reach in the Orissa High Court.”

The aggrieved social activist alleged, “My nomination has been arbitrarily rejected by the Rajya Sabha Returning Officer. No other parties have raised objection. The Returning Officer has from his own side raised objection and rejected. We’ve provided all the requisite information and there was no question of rejection.”

Nevertheless, Soumya Ranjan Patanik, flanked by Prashanta Nanda, informed media after the scrutiny, “Our three nominations stand valid after scrutiny.”

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