Tripura legislator accused of faking caste certificate

August 9th, 2012 - 2:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Aug 9 (IANS) The opposition Congress in Tripura Thursday demanded arrest and removal from the membership of the state assembly of ruling Left Front legislator Partha Das who, they alleged, had falsely claimed to belong to the Scheduled Caste category.

After a long probe, the screening committee of the Scheduled Castes welfare department of the Tripura government recently served notice to Revolutionary Socialist Party’s (RSP) legislator Partha Das saying that he did not belong to the Scheduled Castes category.

RSP is a partner of the ruling Left Front, dominated by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M). The issue has rocked Tripura politics for the past two years.

A six-member delegation of Congress party leaders, led by opposition leader Ratan Lal Nath and state party chief Sudip Roy Barman, met governor D.Y. Patil and demanded Das’s removal from the Tripura assembly and immediate arrest.

Nath said: “The governor assured us that he would take appropriate steps as the matter is very serious.”

“Partha Das should return all the salary and financial assistance he got from the state assembly since 2008,” he told reporters.

“The Left Front, which always advocates transparency and honesty, is illegally giving shelter to a fake certificate-holder legislator,” Nath added.

Reacting to the issue, CPI-M state secretary Bijon Dhar said: “If the court take any decision on Partha Das’s certificate matter, then the appropriate authority can take necessary steps. The Congress is unnecessary doing politics on the issue. The Left Front government itself conducted the inquiry on the matter.”

Das was elected in 2008 from southern Tripura’s Salgarh assembly constituency, reserved for the Scheduled Castes.

Commenting on the issue, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said: “The matter was under scrutiny of the screening committee of the concerned department. The government will accept the recommendations of the said committee. We will not give shelter to any fake certificate holder.”

“Now, Das has to prove that his caste certificate is valid,” Sarkar added.

The west Tripura district magistrate had earlier in a report to the state government said that the Scheduled Caste certificate of Partha Das’s elder brother Chandan Kumar Das, a government doctor, had been cancelled.

However, Chandan Kumar Das filed a case in the high court against the Scheduled Castes department’s order, cancelling his caste certificate. The matter is now pending in the court.

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