In a big set back to the Odisha Congress, the election of party’s MLA Jogesh Kumar Singh to the Sundergarh Assembly Constituency has been declared null and void by the Orissa High Court. The reason behind the disqualification is reported to be forgery. As per ANI, Jogesh Kumar Singh has been disqualified on the grounds of submitting fake caste certificate while filing his nomination for the 2014 Assembly Elections. The disqualification comes in response to a petition filed by BJP candidate Sahadev Xaxa and a voter Ajay Patel. Notably, Xaxa lost to Singh in the 2014 Assembly Elections. The BJP candidate, in its petition, had alleged that Singh had submitted fake and fabricated caste certificate and falsely categorised himself as ‘Bhuyan’ tribe. While in actuality, Jogesh Kumar Singh doesn’t belong to the scheduled tribe community, the court found.
It is worth mentioning here that Sundargarh constituency is reserved for only the candidates belonging to Scheduled Tribes in accordance with the provisions of Article 332 of Constitution of India and as per Section 5 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Candidates belonging to other communities aren’t eligible to contest an election from the seat.
Jogesh Kumar Singh had won the 2014 assembly elections by a margin of 12,584 votes receiving 66138 votes in all. On the other hand, BJP candidate Sahadev Xaxa secured the third spot with 27935 votes. The second spot was bagged by the incumbent Biju Janta Dal candidate Kusum Tete winning 53554 votes. Now, with Jogesh Kumar Singh getting disqualified, a bypoll will be held for the seat.