Jogi not a tribal; Chhattisgarh govt rejects status

Jogi not a tribal; Chhattisgarh govt rejects status

Marwahi MLA and former Chhattisgarh CM Ajit Jogi. (DH File Photo)

The Chhattisgarh Government-appointed high power committee, on Tuesday, rejected former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi's tribal status and recommended that all his caste certificates be revoked.

The committee claimed that the MLA was not a tribal but belonged to the 'Satnami' Scheduled Caste, and recommended that Jogi be stripped of all benefits under the provisions for Scheduled Tribes, according to reports.

Jogi formed the Chhattisgarh Janata Congress in 2016 after quitting the Congress. He is currently serving as the Marwahi MLA. However, since the seat is reserved for the ST community, Jogi may lose it.

The high power committee was set up as per the orders the state High Court headed by DD Singh, Secretary of the Department of Primitive Caste, to resolve Jogi's tribal status, on Oct. 13, 2011.

Jogi’s tribal status was challenged by Nand Kumar Sai, senior BJP leader and former Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribe, and former BJP member Sant Kumar Netam, in 2001.

The Bilaspur Collector was directed by the committee to take action over Jogi under the provisions of Rule 23(3) and 24(1) of the Chhattisgarh Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes (Regulation of Certification of Social Status) Rules, 2013.

The committee told the Deputy Superintendent of Police to confiscate the former CM's certificates under the provisions of Rule 23(5) of the Regulation.

Jogi termed the committee as the 'Bhupesh Empowered Committee', after the state CM Bhupesh Baghel. He reportedly said that the committee submitted empty papers prepared by the CM himself and that the "committee has not followed the principle of justice".

Jogi said, "The CM is having a political vendetta against my father and me," according to the Hindustan Times.

"After Bhuria committee and Raman Singh government, it's Bhupesh Baghel's turn to test me on this caste row," he said, according to a News18 report. "I joined civil services in 1986 and in 43 years, the judiciary has favoured me in the caste row six times before."

IAS officer Rina Baba Kangle led another committee in 2018, which said that Jogi wasn’t an ST.