Monday, February 27, 2012

[ZESTCaste] BJD MLA accused of faking caste

BJD MLA accused of faking caste
TNN Feb 26, 2012, 02.32AM IST

BALASORE: BJD MLA from Remuna constituency in Balasore district
Sudarshan Jena seems to have landed in trouble with Samrudha Odisha
and Rajya Adivasi Harijan Kalyan Samiti (RAHKS) accusing him of faking
his caste.

Samrudha Odisha district president Rabinarayan Sethi and RAHKS
president Damodar Das alleged Jena had produced a fake caste
certificate to contest the assembly poll from the seat reserved for
Scheduled Caste (SC). Sethi has filed a writ petition in the high
court alleging Jena produced a fake caste certificate to become a

"RAHKS had earlier written to the chief election commission and
national commission for SC and ST demanding a probe. But when the two
government agencies did not take any action, I filed a writ petition
seeking an independent inquiry. I have appealed to the court to
declare his election null and void," Sethi said.

He pointed out as per land records, Jena is a Kuduma by caste. But in
the affidavit produced during the filing of nomination paper he has
claimed himself as Kandara by caste, which comes under SC category.

Jena since 1983 has been getting benefits meant for SCs by claiming
himself as a Kandara by caste, Sethi alleged, adding the MLA had
contested the zilla parisad election in 1997 by producing a fake caste
certificate as well and won from a seat reserved for SCs.

RAHKS president Das said they have thoroughly checked Jena's land
records and status of his caste from his native village at Sitadiha
under Singla police limits of Balasore district. "His father and
forefathers were Kuduma by caste. So how can he be Kandara by caste?
He has forged the documents in connivance with government officials
and is hence liable for criminal action," he said.

"Though during the time of election I had brought it to the notice of
the returning officer and election commissioner, they suppressed the
matter under pressure from ruling party leaders. Now we have
approached the court and hope to get justice soon," Das said.

He further pointed out while Jena hails from Basta tehsil area and has
also mentioned the same as his permanent address, surprisingly he
obtained the caste certificate from Sadar tehsil. Though meanwhile
Kuduma has been included in the SC category since 2007, Jena could not
mention it in the affidavit as he had been enjoying benefits as a
Kandara much before that date.

Jena rubbished the allegations. He said it is a political gimmick by
his rivals to tarnish his image. "I have not done anything illegal.
They had tried to malign me earlier too but could not prove anything.
If required I will produce all the proofs in the court to prove my
stand," he said.

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