BJP’s Solapur MP in trouble over caste certificate?Updated: Jan 25, 2020 00:31 IST
The state government’s caste validity committee has issued a show-cause notice to Member of Parliament (MP) of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a Lingayat seer Jai Siddheshwar Shivacharya Swami over the validity of his caste certificate. Swami was elected from the Solapur Lok Sabha constituency and may lose his seat if his caste certificate is proved invalid.
According to the issue raised by Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) leader Pramod Gaikwad, Swami, in his election affidavit, had mentioned that he belongs to the ‘Beda Jagam’ community under the Scheduled Caste (SC) category, while his nephew, Yogeshwar Sidhamayala, belongs to the ‘Hindu Jagam’ community from the Other Backward Category (OBC).
Swami has been asked to remain present before the committee on January 27.
Gaikwad alleged, “Swami has attached a fake certificate to his election affidavit even though he knew the seat was reserved for the SC community. How can two members of one family have different caste certificates? We want the Election Commission to disqualify him.”
Santosh Navkar, Swami’s lawyer, said, “We did not submit any fake documents. We have all valid documents to prove our caste. Members of the Opposition party are putting pressure on committee members by creating a ruckus in their office. We are going to take legal action against them.”
VBA chief Prakash Ambedkar said, “The committee had sent a notice after initial inquiry. If the committee rules in our favour, we will approach the EC for disqualification of membership.”
In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the Lingayat seer defeated Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde and Prakash Ambedkar. Ahead of the elections, Gaikwad and other Opposition party members had raised questions over the validity of the caste certificate, but election officers turned it down.