The Patna High Court on Thursday cancelled the Lok Sabha membership of BJP MP Chhedi Paswan over concealing information in his election affidavit. Responding to the judgment, Paswan told reporters that he has nothing to hide and he will challenge the high court verdict. “It was not on purpose, I have nothing to hide. Will surely challenge this verdict”, he said. A petition was filed against Paswan in the Patna High Court alleging that he concealed information in his election affidavit ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Paswan reportedly did not reveal the correct number of criminal cases filed against him. He further said, “There was no criminal case against me. The matter was related to a project over Durgavati river. I was staging a sit-in protest in the interest of people, which is not a criminal matter, it’s a social issue. The issue of public interest has been turned into criminal offence.”
Pleading innocence, the former BJP MP said, “Though the information was not required in the affidavit, I missed it inadvertently. The mistake was not made by me, actually. My son was filling the form and he asked me to canvass in my constituency and he would get the form completed. I thought he got it completed. This is the matter.” The judgment was delivered by a single judge bench headed by K.K. Mandal on a plea filed by Ganga Mishra, who accused Paswan of concealing information regarding criminal cases registered against him in the affidavit filed with the Election Commission. This was Paswan’s third term as MP as he has previously won Lok Sabha elections in 1989 and 1991 on Janta Dal ticket defeating Meira Kumar of the Indian National Congress. Later he joined JD(U) after Jantal Dal break up. He was defeated by BJP Chunilal Yadav in 1996. He contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election and won the Sasaram seat. He has also been an MLA for multiple times.