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BJP Madhya Pradesh MP Jyoti Dhurve’s Caste Certificate Fails Scrutiny, Quashed

The committee found that Dhurve belonged to the Bisen/Panwar caste and not to Gond Scheduled Tribe, as claimed in her certificate.

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated:February 12, 2019, 12:08 PM IST
BJP Madhya Pradesh MP Jyoti Dhurve’s Caste Certificate Fails Scrutiny, Quashed
File photo of Jyoti Dhurve

Bhopal: The decision of the Madhya Pradesh government’s scrutiny committee to annul the caste certificate of BJP MP from Betul (ST) Jyoti Dhurve has been upheld by a review panel of the state tribal welfare department.

Betul is a reserved parliamentary constituency for Scheduled Tribes.

Collector Tarun Pithode on Monday acted on the basis of a report he said he had received from the tribal welfare department.

Dhurve’s caste certificate was annulled in 2017 by the scrutiny committee that has been mandated by the state government to look into complaints pertaining to caste documents.

The committee found that Dhurve belonged to the Bisen/Panwar caste and not to Gond Scheduled Tribe, as claimed in her certificate.

The government had later directed the district collector to initiate legal action and confiscate her caste certificate. However, Dhurve filed an appeal before the department.

The inquiry report accessed by News18 claimed the BJP MP’s father Mahadev, belonged to Panwar/Bisen caste, and during the course of the investigation, he could not furnish any evidence of him being a Gond.

The committee further claimed that even though the politician’s mother belonged to the Gond tribe, since the child’s caste is ascertained on the basis of paternal lineage, she belongs to Panwar /Bisen community.

On the basis of the committee's findings, the department found that Dhurve's caste is “indisputably Bisen/Pawar”, which is not notified as a Scheduled Tribe (ST) in the state, said the order issued on February 6 by tribal development commissioner Dipali Rastogi.

The committee recommended cancellation of Dhurve’s caste certificate in April 2017 and issued an order in this regard in May. Following an appeal from the parliamentarian on May 5, 2017, the committee stayed the order and offered her time to furnish documents to support her claims.

Dhurve was elected as Lok Sabha member from Betul for the first time in 2009 and was re-elected in 2014. Questions were raised on her caste, after her victory in 2009. However, she could not be reached for comments.

The scrutiny committee had carried out the inquiry following a complaint by lawyer Shankar Pendram in 2009. Pendram had demanded that the nomination of Dhurve, who was then the BJP's candidate for Betul Lok Sabha seat, reserved for ST candidates, be cancelled on the ground that her Gond tribe caste certificate was not genuine.

However, BD Israni, the former principal secretary of MP assembly on the issue, said Dhurve could lose membership to parliament, though she could move the court for relief.

A decision in this regard could only be taken by the President or Election Commission of India, he added.​

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| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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