Bidar South Constituency Returning Officer Neelkanth, on Friday, rejected the twin petitions challenging the nomination of Karnataka Makkala Paksha Chief Ashok Kheny, stating the objections raised were untenable.
Anti-corruption activist T J Abraham and JD(S) candidate Bandeppa Kashempur had filed petitions against the nomination of Kheny. Abraham who is contesting the election against Kheny as independent candidate had challenged Kheny’s candidature on the ground that he had voluntarily acquired citizenship of USA. Therefore, based on the election law, person holding citizenship of foreign nations should be barred from contesting elections in India.
Kashempur had raised objection on the grounds that Kheny had held office of profit. Earlier, both Kheny and Abraham argued their respective cases before Returning Officer Neelkanth. Senior Advocate S M Chandrashekar presented the case of Kheny, while Abraham pleaded his own case. However, Kashempur remained absent during the hearing.
After hearing the petitions, the returning officer stated that objections were not acceptable as Kheny had submitted valid documents. The announcement from the returning officer sent cheer among supporters of Kheny, who rejoiced over the decision.
Kheny flayed JD(S) National President Deve Gowda stating he should not resort to cheap politics through fielding proxy candidate Abraham. Gowda should come forward and fight directly instead of pushing such persons, he charged.
Abraham told reporters that he had raised seven points in his objection petition but Kheny failed to give written reply even to one of them or produce a single documentary proof to support his claim. He neither denied the allegations levelled against him in writing, he added. Abraham has decided to represent before the State Election Officer Anil Kumar Jha on Friday morning seeking a rehearing of the issue.