The Gauhati High Court on Thursday issued show cause notice to Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), key ally of the ruling BJP, MLA from Bongaigaon Phani Bhushan Choudhury for allegedly submitting “false information” in the affidavit along with the nomination papers to the Election Commission of India for the assembly elections held in March-April.
Choudhury, who won the elections from Bongaigaon for the eight time, has been directed to reply by August 23 as to why his membership of the assembly shall not be terminated.
The petitioner Shankar Prasad Ray, who is a former member of All Assam Students’ Union (Aasu), contested the assembly elections this year on a ticket from Congress against Choudhury and faced defeat.
Niron Bora, advocate for the petitioner, said, “There is a case at Bongaigaon police station against Phani Bhushan Choudhury over misappropriation of government funds of a central scheme for the farmers. The case was lodged on May 27 last year. But, he did not mention that in the affidavit filed along with the nomination papers to the Election Commission. Non-disclosure of pendency of a case amounts to undue influence and corrupt practice. Therefore, an election petition has been filed before the Gauhati High Court.”
Choudhury, who was the food and civil supplies minister in the first term of the BJP-led government in the state, defeated Ray by a margin of over 38,000 votes in the 2021 elections. Ray had faced defeat in the 2016 elections also.
In June, BJP leader and former Sonai MLA Aminul Haque Laskar moved the high court against All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) MLA from Sonai constituency Karim Uddin Barbhuiyan alleging submission of fake information in the affidavit along with nomination papers before the EC.
Laskar alleged that Barbhuiyan had made false claims regarding educational qualification and did not mention bank liabilities in the affidavit.