Twin legal jolts to BJP: Uma kin & Scindia loyalist face exit from MP Assembly
Jajji was among the 22 Scindia-loyalist Congress MLAs, who scripted the fall of the 15-month-old Congress government led by Kamal Nath in March 2020.
Published: 12th December 2022 08:52 PM | Last Updated: 13th December 2022 01:52 PM | A+A A-
BHOPAL: The ruling BJP has suffered twin jolts within five days, as two of its legislators, including ex-Chief Minister Uma Bharti’s nephew Rahul Singh Lodhi and union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia-loyalist Jajpal Singh Jajji, are likely to lose their Vidhan Sabha membership, following orders from the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
The principal bench of the MP High Court in Jabalpur, had on December 7, set aside the 2018 election of Khargapur (Tikamgarh) MLA Rahul Singh Lodhi over improper filing of nomination papers.
On the other hand, the High Court’s Gwalior bench on Monday ordered the quashing and confiscation of the ‘Nat’ scheduled caste (SC) status of Ashok Nagar (SC) legislator Jajpal Singh Jajji with immediate effect. This will now lead to his disqualification as MLA from a seat reserved for SC candidates.
While hearing the writ petition filed by Er Ladduram Kori (the BJP candidate who lost to the-then Congress candidate Jajpal Singh Jajji in the 2018 polls) in 2020, the single judge HC bench headed by Justice GS Ahluwalia directed Ashok Nagar district police superintendent to lodge an FIR against the BJP MLA.
Jajji fought and won the two polls --- the 2018 Assembly polls on a Congress ticket and the 2020 by-election on a BJP ticket --- from the same seat using the now-quashed SC status certificate.
Senior counsel Sangam Jain (who represented petitioner Ladduram Kori) said, “The HC has quashed the SC certificate, thereby not considering the sitting MLA to be from a Scheduled caste. The HC has also asked the court’s registry to send a copy of the order to the MP Vidhan Sabha Speaker for further action."
A cost of Rs 50,000 has also been imposed on the MLA which is to be deposited before the court’s registry within a month, he added.
Jajji was among the 22 Scindia-loyalist Congress MLAs, who scripted the fall of the 15-month-old Congress government led by Kamal Nath in March 2020. In November 2020, he had won the same Ashok Nagar (SC) seat on a BJP ticket.
Earlier, on December 7, a single judge bench of the MP High Court in Jabalpur, headed by Justice Nandita Dubey, had set aside and declared void Rahul Singh Lodhi’s 2018 election from the Khargapur seat.
The court further ordered that as the election of Lodhi is being declared void, he must not be allowed any benefits of this election.
In the election petition filed in 2019 by Congress candidate Chanda Singh Gour (he had lost to Lodhi in the 2018 polls but had defeated Lodhi in the 2013 polls), it was mentioned that Lodhi’s nomination papers were improperly accepted, which had materially affected the poll’s result.
Chanda had alleged that Lodhi submitted two nomination forms with different information regarding his status as partner in the Firm, M/s R.S. Constructions, Tikamgarh. The firm had a contract with MPRRDA which amounts to corrupt practices as enumerated under Section 100 (1) (b) & (d)(i) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, she stated.
She also alleged that Lodhi, in his 2018 poll nomination papers, suppressed the fact that the High Court had imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 in Election Petition No.11/2014 (Rahul Singh Lodhi Vs. Chanda Singh Gour), and had not given the cost to the petitioner, thus he was guilty of non-compliance of the order of HC under the provisions of Section 100 (1)(d)(iv) RPA Act 1951.
Additionally, as per the HC order, the last date for submission of the nomination paper was November 9, 2018, but the returning officer had accepted Lodhi’s documents after that date.
In the 230-member-strong Vidhan Sabha 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 prime opposition Congress has 96 MLAs.