BBMP to start corporator's disqualification process

BBMP to start corporator's disqualification process

Civic body says it would refer the matter to the state Election Commission

Corporator M Gayathri

A day after the Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner rejected the caste certificate of independent corporator M Gayathri, the BBMP decided to refer the matter to the State Election Commission.

Speaking to DH, BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said the civic body would initiate proceedings against Gayathri as soon as the Palike receives communication from the Urban DC, also chairperson of the district caste verification committee.

"It'll also be forwarded to the state Election Commission for further action," he said.

According to the DC's order, Gayathri, a corporator representing Kempapura Agrahara ward (122) in Vijayanagar limits, submitted a fake caste certificate while contesting the BBMP election in 2015.

Guruprasad, a resident of Hampinagar, complained against Gayathri. Married to a Naidu family, Gayathri claimed that she belonged to the Nayaka community and submitted school records as proof of her caste. However, during an inquiry, both the Block Education Officer and DDPI ruled that the school documents were faked.

Gayathri rejected the DC's order. She told DH: "No question of (me) submitting a fake certificate and no need for that. No evidence exists to prove that. I don't know why they are creating an issue out of nothing."

Gayathri said she could produce all the documents explaining her caste antecedence.

C S Dwarkanath, an advocate and former president of the Backward Classes Commission, said Gayathri cannot contest elections if it is established that she submitted a fake caste certificate.

"Only if she proves before the court that the official's claims are false, can the court decide whether to allow her to contest the polls in future," he added.

However, Gayathri clarified that she has already challenged the issue in the court, where the matter is under hearing. 

The Opposition BJP sounded distraught over the issue. "Had the case been decided long back, Congress corporator Manjunath Reddy would not have won the mayoral polls back in 2015," said Padmanabha Reddy, senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the BBMP. 

Not the first time 

Disqualifying a corporator on the grounds of a fake caste certificate is nothing new in the BBMP.

In 2013, a BJP corporator from A Narayanapura ward (56) in the KR Puram Assembly limits was disqualified on charges of submitting a fake caste certificate to contest from a reserved constituency. But the same corporator had won the bypolls subsequently.

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