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MP: Ahead of Assembly Polls, 2 BJP MLAs Face Disqualification From House

The MLA from Tikamgarh district is the nephew of former Union Minister Uma Bharti, while the other one is a loyalist of Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
MP: Months before Assembly polls, two BJP MLAs Face Disqualification From State Assembly

Rahul Singh Lodhi. Image Courtesy: Twitter/Rahul Singh Lodhi MLA

Bhopal: Ahead of Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has suffered twin blows in the last five days after Madhya Pradesh High Court ordered to cancellation of the membership of two sitting MLAs, one for fake caste certificate and another for submitting improper nomination papers in 2018 Assembly polls.

Hearing the petition filed by the BJP leader from Ashok Nagar district, Ladduram Kori, who accused his party MLA from Ashok Nagar and loyalist of union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jajpal Singh Jajji, of submitting a fake certificate of scheduled caste to contest 2018 Assembly elections.

The single bench of Justice GS Ahluwalia, taking a strong objection over his fake caste certificate, quashed his caste certificate, ordered Ashok Nagar SP to lodge an FIR against Jajji and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000. The Court also directed the court registry to send a copy of the decision to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly speaker for disqualification of his membership.

The matter was heard on December 9, and the verdict on the petition filed by Kori, who fought unsuccessfully against Jajji in the 2018 Assembly polls from Ashok Nagar (Scheduled Caste-reserved) seat, was passed on Monday.

The bench said that Jajji had failed to prove he belonged to the 'Nat' community, which is listed as a Scheduled Caste. Therefore, the HC said that the caste certificate issued by the sub-divisional officer, Ashok Nagar, that Jajji belongs to the Nat caste, is hereby quashed and confiscated immediately.

In the 2018 Assembly elections, Jajji was in Congress, contested from the Ashok Nagar seat, and defeated BJP's Kori with a margin of over 9,000 votes. But, in March 2020, he switched to the BJP along with 22 MLAs and again emerged victorious in the by-polls held in

October 2020, with a margin of over 15,000 votes.

Similarly, the Jabalpur bench of Madhya Pradesh High court on December 7 declared the election of Rahul Singh Lodhi, MLA from Tikamgarh's Kharagpur constituency, "null & void".

Hearing the petition of Chanda Singh Gour, Congress' runner-up candidate from the seat, the bench of Justice Nandita Dubey ordered that all the benefits accruing to him in his capacity as MLA should be stopped immediately.

The HC, which asked to send a verdict copy to the Election Commission of India and MP State Election Commission, has ordered "strict action" against the returning officer Vandana Rajput for "favouring" him. The Court also directed the election commission not to assign any similar nature of duty in future. Rajput was serving as a Sub Divisional Magistrate in Tikamgarh.

The nephew of former Union Minister Uma Bharti, Lodhi, won the 2018 Assembly election from the Kharagpur seat with a margin of over 11,000 votes. He defeated Gour, who became an MLA in 2013, by defeating Lodhi with a margin of 5,000 votes.

In her petition, Gour alleged that the returning officer Vandana Rajput accepted Lodhi's two contradictory nomination papers, violating the Peoples Representation Act. She also accused Lodhi of not disclosing that he was a partner in a firm, M/s RS construction in Tikamgarh, which takes contracts from Madhya Pradesh Rural Road Development Authority (MPRRDA).

In the 230-member Assembly in Madhya Pradesh, the ruling BJP presently has 130 members (including an Independent, an SP MLA, and a BSP MLA who joined the saffron party in June 2022), while the main opposition Congress has 96 MLAs.

Apart from Lodhi and Jajji, the verdict to declare the election of the Malegaon blast accused and BJP's parliamentarian from Bhopal Sadhvi Pragya has been reserved by the bench of justice Vikash Bhagat after hearing the arguments.

A Bhopal-based journalist Rakesh Dixit filed a petition in 2019 in the Jabalpur High Court on the grounds that she whipped up communal passions and indulged in corrupt practices to win the polls.

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