Madan Mitra Is Hoping To Win In West Bengal, But He Can't Vote

24/04/2016 4:12 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
KOLKATA, INDIA - JANAURY 2: Madan Mitra, West Bengal Transport Minister (Trinamool Congress), Produced at Alipore Court on January 2, 2015 in Kolkata, India. He has been arrested in connection with the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam. A city court extended the judicial custody of Madan Mitra, till Jan 16 while rejecting his bail plea. (Photo by Prateek Choudhury/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

KOLKATA-- He is expecting thousands of electors in Kamarhati Assembly constituency to vote for him tomorrow but Trinamool Congress candidate and jailed former minister Madan Mitra himself will not be able to cast his vote despite being a registered voter.

Election Commission sources confirmed that Mitra, who is presently lodged in Alipore jail in the multi-crore Saradha chitfund scam, will not be allowed to exercise his franchise.

"All prisoners whether undertrial or convicted do not have voting rights. Mitra is no exception to this rule," sources told PTI.

The Representation of the People's Act, 1951, says, "No person shall vote at any election if he is confined in a prison whether under a sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise or is in the lawful custody of the police".

However, rules allow prisoners to be a candidate till the time he or she is not convicted by a court of law.

This is the first time that a high-profile candidate is fighting elections in West Bengal from jail.

Arrested by the CBI in December 2014, the former state Transport and Sports minister is contesting polls from his constituency of Kamarhati on the outskirts of the city. His name figures in the electoral roll from booth number 14 in Dakshineswar.

Mitra's family members said he is disappointed with the fact that he was unable to present in his constituency during the crucial time of Assembly elections.

"The day of voting is a very important day in the life of a politician. He is very sad that he is not a part of it. He will also not be able to cast his own vote. But things are not in our hands," his daughter-in-law Swati Mitra told PTI.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who went to campaign in his constituency, extended support to him and alleged that his former cabinet colleague has been a victim of conspiracy by the Centre. He is pitted against CPI-M's Manash Mukherjee and BJP's Krishanu Mitra.

Madan's name had also figured in the Narada sting operation where he was purportedly shown taking money from a person representing a fictitious company.

Besides the Saradha scam, the Trinamool leader has declared in his affidavit that he has a number of cases relating to rioting, armed with deadly weapons, Unlawful assembly, assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharging his duty, pending against him.

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