By Our Correspondent
CUTTACK/BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Congress may lose the main Opposition Party status after its number came down to 14 from 16 in a 147 capacity State Assembly. The Party may lose the Opposition Leader post after Party’s Sundargarh MLA Jogesh Singh’s election was declared null and void over two petitions against him pertaining to submission of false caste certificate by the Congress legislator. Singh said the matter would be challenged in the Supreme Court.Earlier, Party’s Bijepur MLA Subal Sahu died and his wife Rita , who is fighting By-Poll , now with ruling BJD.
Hearing two separate petitions filed by BJP candidate Sahadev Xaxa, who lost to Singh in the 2014 assembly elections and a voter Ajay Patel, the High Court found that Singh had submitted a caste certificate which certified him as a ‘Khandayat Bhuyan’ whereas the same is not included in the list of list of scheduled tribes.
The Sundargarh constituency is reserved in accordance with the provisions of Article 332 of Constitution of India and as per Section 5 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, only candidates belonging to Scheduled Tribe are eligible to contest election from the constituency while persons belonging to other communities are disqualified from contesting.