BJSM Demands legal action against non-ST candidates fielded in ST seats
KOKRAJHAR: Bodoland Janajati Suraksha Mancha (BJSM) on Monday demanded strong legal action against the political parties which were fielding non-ST candidates in ST reserved seats in the ensuing BTC election slated to be held on April 4 and also demanded that the Returning Officer (RO) of the districts concerned must reject their nomination papers after thorough scrutiny.
In a statement, the president of the BJSM, Janaklal Basumatary said that Kokrajhar MP Naba Kumar Sarania, who is the president of Gana Suraksha Party (GSP) and representing O-Boro group, would be contesting in the BTC election from Goibari ST constituency in Baksa district. He said this time his ST certificate as Borokachari should not be accepted as valid.
“Since Sarania Kachari is not notified ST, no ST certificate is being issued as Borokachari or Rabha or Kachari since the Gauhati High Court’s order in the case WP(C) 2580/2014 dated 28/5/2014. The Union Home Ministry, vide letter No. 35/1/72-RU(SCT-V) dated 2/5/1975, also said that no ST certificate can be issued to those communities which are not included in the presidential order specifying ST in the State concerned. So no ST certificate can be issued to Naba Kumar Sarania as his community does not belong to the enlisted community,” he said, adding that the earlier certificate he held was invalid. He also said that cancellation of his ST certificate was under progress by the State Level Scrutiny Committee, Government of Assam, and therefore, the Returning Officer could not accept Sarania’s ST certificate and his candidature in ST reserved constituency.
Basumatary said that no ST certificate couldn be issued to the Sarania Kachari community as all other Sarania Kachari candidates filed nomination in ST constituencies by using fake ST certificates issued earlier. He said that all other contesting genuine ST candidates had claimed that Sarania candidates were not notified ST so their candidature in ST reserved constituencies could not be accepted.
“So far, Naba Kumar Sarania has fielded as many as 12 candidates of Sarania community, including himself, in ST reserved constituencies for the ensuing BTC election. Since Sarania community is not included in the Scheduled Tribes list in Assam in constitutional (Scheduled Tribes) order, 1950 as amended time to time, the All Assam Tribal Sangha (AATS) issued ST certificates to the Sarania community as Borokachari or Rabha from 2009, which is not permissible under Article 342 (1) (2) of the Indian Constitution and as per the instructions of the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs vide letter No. 35/1/72-RU (SCT-V) dated 02/05/1975,” said Basumatary.
He said without verification of the prevailing facts, Naba Kumar Sarania’s ST certificate was accepted in the 2019 MP election but now, the cancellation process of this certificate was under process by State-level Scrutiny Committee of the Government of Assam as he belonged to non-notified community, not Boro Kachari community. He also said that under such circumstance, no ST certificate of persons belonging to Sarania Kachari community, including Naba Kumar Sarania, could be accepted by the Returning Officers concerned.
Basumatary said the legal position of ST certificates of the Sarania community had been brought to the notice of the ROs before scrutiny of the nomination papers of the candidates in ST reserved constituencies and it had been brought to the notice of the genuine ST candidates for necessary objection during scrutiny.
The list of Sarania community candidates in ST reserved constituencies, according to BJSM, is - Naba Kr. Sarania, Goibari ST; Apratim Borah, Kalingduar ST; Munindra Deka, Suklai Serfang ST; Trishna Medhi, Baganpara ST; Khanin Deka, Mushalpur ST; Sakradhar Das, Salbari ST; Swarasati Das, Manas Serfang ST; Bidhyut Sarania, Chirang ST; Mridul Das, Dotoma ST; Pankash Das, Jomduar ST; Arpana Das, Kajalgaon and Mridul Das, Salakati ST.