Ahead of the crucial bypoll to the Marwahi Assembly seat left vacant by the death of former chief minister Ajit Jogi, Richa and Amit Jogi — the daughter-in-law and son of the late leader — have written to the Election Commission through their lawyers seeking protection against a possible rejection of their nomination papers, which the couple suspects may be cancelled on the basis of changes to the Chhattisgarh Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Classes (Regulation of Social Certification) Rules, 2013, which the duo has challenged in the Supreme Court.
Marwahi is a reserved ST constituency and the couple’s caste certificates are in jeopardy — a high-powered committee had cancelled the certificate to Ajit Jogi in 2019 saying that he was not a member of the ST community.
Richa Jogi’s lawyer, advocate Gary Mukhopadhyay, wrote, “The state government of Chhattisgarh and the Returning Officer will attempt to reject/not accept my nomination papers on the basis of these amendments which are under challenge before the Honourable Court.” The letter written by Amit Jogi’s lawyer PN Puri stated, “His social status of being a Scheduled Tribe, which is undisputed for the last 44 years, will be cancelled relying on the impugned amendments.”
The bypoll will be held on November 3, filing of nominations ends on October 16 and these will be scrutinised on October 17.
The Marwahi seat was represented by late Ajit Jogi till his death earlier this summer. Amit Jogi, the head of Janta Congress Chhattisgarh, has also represented the segment once in the Assembly.
Meanwhile, the BJP and Congress have nominated healthcare workers to contest the bypoll. However, the candidates — Dr KK Dhruw from the Congress and Dr Gambhir Singh from the BJP — are facing opposition from their own party members on account of being “outsiders”.
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