INC blames lawyer for rejection of nomination, candidate gives clean chit

ITANAGAR, Mar 27: A day after the Congress’ candidate for the Aalo East assembly constituency, Minkir Lollen’s nomination was rejected, the party’s West Siang district unit blamed the candidate’s lawyer for the errors in the nomination form that had been submitted.
The BJP’s Kento Jini became the sole candidate to successfully file his nomination for the seat after election officials found several anomalies in Lollen’s nomination.
Although the official announcement of the final list of candidates will be made after 28 March, debutant Jini is all set to become the next MLA from the constituency.
The West Siang District Congress Committee (DCC) on Tuesday approached the police, blaming the lawyer, Kenbom Bagra, for Lollen’s nomination being rejected.
A complaint was lodged at the Aalo police station by DCC president Ogong Tamuk (cosigned by other party functionaries of the district), alleging that it was “due to the mastermind of Kenbom Bagra (advocate) that Lollen’s nomination paper was rejected by the returning officer.”
The letter said Bagra is a “well-known legal consultant in the district and rejection of Lollen’s nomination amounts to breach of trust and contract.” It added that the police should investigate the matter and arrest Bagra.
The police, however, have instead told the party to approach the court.
Aalo police station OC, Yomken Riram said the complaint was not made by the alleged aggrieved, and that it is of civil nature. Therefore, he said, the police have asked the Congress to take the matter to the court.
Speaking to reporters, Bagra said he had not filled Lollen’s nomination paper and had only given him a sample form.
He said he was being defamed, and claimed that he has been threatened by certain individuals, as well.
“I have no contract with the Congress and had only given verbal suggestions,” Bagra said, adding that referring the complaint to the Bar Council of India does not arise.
Bagra also said he has already spoken to Lollen about the matter.
On Tuesday, Lollen had declined to comment, but on Wednesday he issued a clarification, absolving Bagra of all blame and responsibility for the error.
The clarification issued by Lollen stated, verbatim: “I have only seek legal opinion regarding Form 26 (affidavit) and the error in filling up the affidavit is committed from my side not from his (Bagra) side as he has not filling up the column of affidavit and he has only provide me the typed out blank part in pen drive.”
Lollen also said the error in Form 2(B) happened “due to hurry” and had been “committed by my proposer,” and that Bagra “never touched the form 2(B) as he was very much busy with his BJP candidate at Aalo West assembly constituency.”
Lollen also said the main ground for rejection was “due to non-furnishing of my ST certificate and original birth certificate during the time of scrutiny which I have misplaced at my home at Kombo village.”
He categorically stated that Bagra had no connection with his candidature having been rejected.
“The FIR lodged by the executive members of INC West Siang district against Kenbom Bagra at Aalo police station is not genuine and he is not liable,” Lollen added.
Apologizing to Bagra “for defaming his name in social media due to my gross negligence,” Lollen’s statement added that the errors occurred “due to lack of proper time and issuing of nomination papers on the last day.”