was merely around Rs. 18 crore, or slightly less than one fourth of what it is five years later!"But that is not the end of the story. He has a dubious background as well. There are allegations that he is a fugitive and is originally from Nepal. More precisely, he is Moniraj Limboo, a Nepali citizen, who escaped to India in the early Seventies. Moniraj is a murderer in Nepal and he was imprisoned by the Nepali court, in 1971. Later, he reportedly escaped to India. And soon he emerged as Moni Kumar Subba and amazingly he fought election (both assembly and parliamentary) in Assam.The controversy surrounding Subba even reached the Apex Court of the country. The Supreme Court has been informed by the Central Bureau of Investigation that it was investigating the issue of his origin. A public interest litigation filed by a Noida resident alleged that Subba was not an Indian, but a Nepali citizen and worst, Subba is a convict in the court of Nepal.Subba made it almost a habit to put different information regarding his pace and date of birth in different occasions. For records, Subba in his nomination papers for the 12th Lok Sabha polls informed his place of birth as Tezpur and date of birth as March 16, 1951. But the same man, in his disclosure for the 14th Lok Sabha polls, claimed his place of birth as Dabagram (Darjeeling of West Bengal) and the date of birth being March 16, 1958.Subba, on the other hand, went on claiming that Moniraj Limboo was alive in Nepal. The Apex Court of Nepal convicted him and put in jail till 1982. Hence, it is understandable that Moniraj Limboo can not be
same with Moni Kumar Subba.By any means, Subba has nothing to worry, because the Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and the senior Congress leaders like Pranab Mukherjee provided full support to him. While Gogoi endorsed his candidature even after the controversy, the External Affairs minister Mukherjee, during a recent press meet in Guwahati, argued that the debate over his nationality should be proved in the court.The editorial of the premier English daily also commented, "Even more disturbing has been the fact that the tendency towards fielding of candidates, who possess enough monetary ammunition to carry forward a campaign battle, by political parties has become a rule rather than an
exception."It also added, "Given that India has been bracketed by international agencies as one of the most corrupt countries in the globe, as also the many reports of political corruption littering the media, the ordinary man on the street cannot be blamed for harbouring a suspicion that there is something more than meets the eyes to such figures."Subba, on the other hand, remained confident of his winning, arguing, "The people of Tezpur are known as clever and cultured. If I am not an Indian and also not efficient, why had the electorate voted me for the third consecutive time?"In the last Lok Sabha polls, Subba received 2,89,847 votes (out of total 10,06,389). Amazingly, the sober politician, who could not pass the high school leaving examination, got elected to the Assam legislative assembly (on Congress ticket) too in 1991 and 1996 from Naoboicha constituency.Assam has already polled on April 16 & 23 and Subba's main challenge is supposed to be Joseph Toppo. The tea tribe leader, Toppo has been nominated by the main opposition party Asom Gana Parishad, which had gone for an electoral alliance with the Bhartiya Janata Party in the state. One of his potential opposition candidates, the AUDF nominated Lakshmi Orang earlier left the battle, as the adivasi girl could not justify her candidature with appropriate documents to the election commission.Now, if Subba wins once again, a common man definitely goes for self realisation that buying votes in India becomes a practice and it is rewarding for those tainted politicians. The second resolution might be, what is wrong to get some extra bucks from the candidates before the polls; because, once elected, he (or she) will neither look back
at you nor the entire constituency!
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Nava Thakuria, who serves as a special correspondent for The Seoul Times, is based in Guwahati of Northeast India. He also contributes articles for many media outlets based in different parts of the glove, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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