BJP MP from Betul, Jyoti Dhurve is in trouble. The parliamentarian is set to lose her Scheduled Tribe caste certificate and could most likely lose her Parliament seat too for submitting a fake caste certificate.
The Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government's scrutiny committee has decided to annul Dhurve's caste certificate, which has been upheld by a review panel of the State Tribal Works Department. The department has directed the Betul Collector and Superintendent of Police to take legal action in the matter.
Dhurve was elected as Lok Sabha member from Betul, a seat reserved for tribals, for the first time in 2009 and again won from there in 2014, on the caste certificate of 'Gond Scheduled Tribe' .
In 2017, her caste certificate was annulled by the scrutiny committee.
The government had later directed the district collector to initiate legal action and confiscate her caste certificate.
However, Dhurve, 52, subsequently filed an appeal before the department.
In August 2018, the Madhya Pradesh High Court had ordered the state government’s Tribal Welfare Department to determine Dhurve's tribal status within 15 days. The High Court also imposed fines on two IAS officers for being lax in the case.
Last week, state Home Minister Bala Bachchan assured of appropriate action in the matter.
On Monday, Collector Tarun Pithode said he has received the letter from the Tribal Works Department in the matter and that he will take legal action as directed.
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,.
The order was issued on February 6 by Tribal Works Department Commissioner Deepali Rastogi.
The Commissioner also directed the Betul Collector and SP to proceed against Dhurve on the basis of findings of the committee, which has decided to cancel the caste certificate of 'Gond Scheduled Tribe' issued to her.
The scrutiny committee had carried out the inquiry following a complaint by lawyer Shankar Pendram in 2009.
Pendram had demanded cancellation of Dhurve's nomination. She was then the BJP's candidate for Betul Lok Sabha seat, reserved for ST candidates, on the ground that the Gond Tribe caste certificate issued to her was not based on real facts.
The complainant said Dhurve had not presented proper documents in support of her claim that she belongs to the Gond Tribe.
An inquiry, conducted by the deputy superintendent of police, SC/ST Welfare, found that the documents presented by Dhurve had failed to corroborate her claim that she belongs to the Gond community, which is a Scheduled Tribe in Madhya Pradesh. The inquiry report was submitted on April 1, 2017.
Dhurve could not be reached for comments in the matter.