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Do people of Giridih deserve a ‘First Citizen’ with doubtful caste credentials?

Ranchi: Local policy of Jharkhand makes it very clear for the residents of the state– for those who wants reservation under Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) category, they should be staying in Jharkhand before the year of 1950 and for Backward Caste (BC) beneficiaries it should be 1978. However, going by the present trend it seems like, these rules are only for the poor unemployed youths who are seeking government jobs and not for political leaders fighting elections.

Giridih, around 220 kilometers away from state capital Ranchi, is all awaiting the results for the Municipal Corporation election to be declared on April 20. This is the first ever municipal poll for Giridih to elect its Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

The Mayor’s seat has been kept reserved for a Schedule Caste candidate, while deputy mayor’s seat has been left for the general candidate. Also, this is for the first time, that election getting held on party basis.

Ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) gave ticket to Sunil Paswan for the Mayor position, while Congress fielded Samir Choudhary. Jharkhand Mukhti Morcha (JMM) gave its symbol to Paromila Mehra. Apart from these three candidates, there were 19 others who had filled their nominations to become the first citizen of Giridih.

“We had given application to RO about BJP candidate Sunil Paswan only that he is not a resident of Jharkhand before 1950, as per the guidelines of the Jharkhand government for the candidates who wants to avail reservation facility in state. On our complaint, administration inquired all the mayor candidate’s caste documents. And found not only found our complaint about Paswan, true, but seven other candidates, including Congress candidate Samir Choudhary get issued wrong caste certificates,” Sanjay Singh, district president of JMM told eNewsroom.

After the inquiry, district administration has also lodged an FIR against Congress’ Samir Choudhary and an independent candidate Laxmi Kumari under section 420 (forgery) of Indian Penal Code (IPC). eNewsroom has got the inquiry report, submitted by the Circle Officer (CO) on the thirteen mayor candidates’ caste certificates to the district administration.

Administration had held back the scrutiny process for a day, but later cleared all the candidates and gave them chance to fight election. However, sent the seven candidate’s matter to the Screening Committee, under Department of Personal, Jharkhand. Screening committee, looks after genuine nature of the caste certificate.

According to the sources, BJP candidate Sunil Paswan, belongs to the schedule caste community only, but as per the rule of Jharkhand government he should have been residing in Giridih (Jharkhand) since or before 1950, which is not in his case. His father, a government employee, got posted in Giridih in 1985.

The source added, “The family tree, on the basis of which a person can make claims of belonging to a certain caste was incorrect for Samir Choudhary, the Congress candidate.”

Significantly, a complaint about the caste background of JMM candidate was also challenged by BJP office bearer, but her credentials were found true in administration’s inquiry.

Ultimately, it is the people of Giridih, who will be the real looser. “Political parties should not field candidates whose documents are in question,” feels Krishan Murari Sharma, the district coordinator of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Giridih.

He further questioned, “If JMM candidate wins and becomes the Mayor then this issue will not arise. However, if BJP or Congress candidate wins, then JMM for sure follow with screening committee and can go to court as well. Assume a scenario, where the BJP or Congress candidate wins the election only to lose in the court. Thereby, he will have to vacate the mayor’s seat and re-election will be scheduled. For this situation people have voted for?”

Shahnawaz Akhtar

is Founder of eNewsroom. He loves doing human interest, political and environment related stories.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks a lot shahnawaz bhai for raising the issue of caste certificate of Sunil Paswan.. most of the is being hijacked by Bihari or out siders.
    More than 60% teachers employed in jharkhand are outsiders.
    Thanks again.

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