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By A Newsman

Asansol, 16 September: TRINAMOOL Congress Raniganj MLA Sohrab Ali, who was recently convicted for stealing railway iron scrap, filed nomination papers on Wednesday to contest the 3 October Asansol Municipal Corporation polls.

Ali filed his nomination from ward number 82 in Asansol and so did his wife Nargis Bano, who filed the papers to contest the polls from the same ward. They went to the Asansol SDO office together in a procession with supporters and a band party, and filed their papers.  The procession, however, had no Trinamool flags.

TMC Sohrab Ali
TMC MLA Sohrab Ali

Trinamool Congress Asansol industrial area unit president, V Shivadashan said that the party had decided to field Ali’s wife Nargis Bano for the polls. “As regards Ali, I am not aware why and in what capacity he has filed nomination. I am told that he has obtained clearance from party higher-ups.”

State labour minister Malay Ghatak, who is one of the top Trinamool leaders in Burdwan district, maintained that the convicted MLA was not a party nominee. Asked who then was the Trinamool candidate from ward number 82, the minister said that they party was “yet to name one.”

This is despite the fact that Wednesday was the last day to file nomination for the civic polls.

Going by the election rules, a prospective candidate has to back his nomination with 10 proposals along with a certificate in official letterhead from the political party concerned, if contesting from a party.  Ali told reporters that he has submitted the Trinamool certificate along with his nomination and claimed that he was party’s official nominee.

Sources said that both of them have filed nomination because Ali wanted to scuttle the ambition of other leaders in the event of the party not backing his candidature. The scrutiny of the nomination papers will take place tomorrow.

Sohrab Ali after being arrested by RPF in 1995 for stealing railway scrap.
Sohrab Ali after being arrested by RPF in 1995 for stealing railway scrap.

The Trinamool MLA was convicted and sentenced to two years jail by the 7th judicial magistrate of Asansol on 8 September in connection with a case that dates back to 1995 when the Railway Protection Force had recovered huge quantities of stolen railway iron scrap from Hodlapukur area in Kulti, Burdwan.

Ali was arrested for having stolen and possessing the scrap. Back then he was associated with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and switched over to the Trinamool Congress in 2011 and became an MLA.

The Asansol court that convicted him, however, granted a three-month suspension on the execution of Ali’s jail term and subsequently, he got a stay on the sentence from a district court.