Raipur: Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi is likely to lose his tribal reserved Marwahi seat in the state Assembly as a high-powered government committee ruled that he is not a Scheduled Tribe (ST) member. Further, the committee also ordered revocation of his caste certificate.
Jogi, who is the founder-president of the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (JCCJ), was the first Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, which was carved from the neighbouring Madhya Pradesh in November 2000.
The committee, which was set up by the state’s erstwhile Raman Singh government on the direction of the Chhattisgarh High Court in February 2018, submitted its report on August 21. Led by senior state secretary DD Singh, the committee concluded that the former Chief Minister is not a tribal as he was unable to prove the same. Consequently, it asked the Bilaspur Collector to take action under the SC, ST and OBC (Regulation of Certification of Social Status) Act 2013.
It also asked a DSP rank officer to collect all the certificates from Jogi.
He hit out at Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who came to power after last December after Congress’ win in the state Assembly elections, accusing him of ‘running’ the committee, which, he said, acted as per the Chief Minister’s wishes. He further said that he had not been given a chance to furnish the necessary documents and evidence.
In 2018, another committee, led by senior IAS officer Rina Kangle, too, had pronounced the former Chief Minister as a non-tribal.
The case dates back to 2001 when senior BJP leader Nand Kumar Sai challenged the tribal status of Jogi, who split from Congress in 2016 and formed the JCCJ soon after.
The Marwahi seat of the Chhattisgarh Assembly is a seat reserved for tribals.