nThe nomination papers of Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC) chief Amit Jogi and his wife Richa Jogi for the by-election in the Marwahi (ST) Assembly seat, a Jogi family bastion, was rejected on Saturday by the Returning Officer after their caste certificates were declared invalid, triggering an angry reaction from Amit Jogi.
The decision was taken based on an order of a high-level Certification Scrutiny Committee headed by D.D. Singh, Secretary of the Tribal Welfare Department, which dismissed Jogi’s claim of being a tribal and cancelled his caste certificate on Friday (October 15). The order came in public domain on Saturday.
The candidature of Richa Jogi, who had also filed nomination for the by-election, was also rejected on the same ground.
The Marwahi seat, which falls in the newly-formed Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi (GPM) district, fell vacant following the death in May of JCC (J) founder leader and Chhattisgarh's first Chief Minister Ajit Jogi.
Four candidates for the by-election had lodged objections over Amit Aishwarya Jogi’s caste status declaration and sought to cancel his candidature, the Returning Officer said in a statement.
As per the Certification Scrutiny Committee, Amit Jogi’s caste certificate claiming him to be a member of ‘Kanwar’ ST category has been cancelled.
As Marwahi is a ST reserved seat and Jogi did not possess a valid caste certificate, his nomination has been rejected, it said.
Similarly, the ST caste certificate issued to Richa Jogi was suspended with immediate effect on October 17 and she has been directed not to use her certificate for any profit until the final scrutiny.
As on today, Richa Jogi does not possess a valid caste certificate. So, her nomination was also rejected, it added.
A total of 19 candidates had filed their nominations in Marwahi for the November 3 battle. Of them, nomination papers of six, including the Jogis, were cancelled.
Marwahi, which was expected to see a triangular contest, may now see a straight fight between the Congress and BJP.
A furious Amit Jogi alleged that the action against him was taken at the behest of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel to prevent him from contesting the election.
Last night, the Caste Scrutiny Committee suddenly cancelled my certificate. Except me, everyone was aware of it. I sought time to read it but was refused, he said.
The country functions according to law and constitution, not by revenge. I will get justice in people’s court.
The move to prevent me from contesting elections has proven that the government has finally admitted that it’s not just difficult to beat Jogi, it’s impossible, he added.
Rejection of my nomination is an insult to the late Ajit Jogiji and people of Marwahi. This was the only tactic by which the Chief Minister could have avoided his definite defeat in the by-election, he said.