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Nandan Nilekani's tiff with Ananth Kumar turns ugly

Files complaint with the Election Commission against his opponent in Bangalore South

BS Reporter  |  Bangalore 

Nandan Nilekani
Nandan Nilekani

Nandan Nilekani, the Congress' candidate for the Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency, has complained to the Election Commission and the Press Council of India against his rival, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Ananth Kumar, accusing the latter of spreading "lies and omissions".

"I have said from the beginning that I am running a clean, honest campaign, because I stand for a better kind of politics," Nilekani said. "I think the dirty tricks of my opponent makes his desperation apparent."

Nilekani said Kumar is trying to gain mileage by abusing a government programme which he himself was promoting only a few months ago. "The entire time he was in Parliament, he asked one question on Aadhaar," said Nilekani.

"Why this sudden concern? Just a few months ago, he (Kumar) was advertising himself on Aadhaar enrolment banners in Bengaluru South. Once I entered politics, however, he began to attack the programme. He is part of the pro-corruption, anti-development forces who are trying to discredit a powerful anti-corruption effort, one that will empower ordinary citizens across the country," Nilekani said in a statement.

Nilekani pointed out that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) never said the number was mandatory. "This is another falsehood that my opponent is spreading. Rather some government agencies may decide to make the number mandatory to remove leakages and fraud in their systems."

"The ruling from the Supreme Court yesterday (Monday)," Nandan pointed out, "was in response to a motion filed by the UIDAI itself, since the agency didn't want to share resident data for a criminal investigation. The UIDAI has always valued the privacy of resident data... and the agency went to the court to ensure that people's privacy is protected."

"It is sad that Ananth Kumar has to resort to such desperate tactics. I am here to solve the problems of the people... I am here because our city, our constituencies have been ignored for much too long."

First Published: Wed, March 26 2014. 00:24 IST