Maha caste certificate row: Congress’ Shyamrao Barve replaces wife in Ramtek

Top Cong leaders have accused BJP of harassment tactics of opposition candidates as it apprehends a tough fight and even senses a defeat looming ahead.

Ramtek: After the Congress’ discomfiture over the invalidation of the caste certificate of its official nominee Rashmi Barve, her husband Shyamrao Barve has replaced her as the new party candidate in Ramtek (SC) Lok Sabha constituency.

Rashmi Barve was disqualified from the contest after the Social Justice Department’s District Caste Certificate Scrutiny Committee rejected her caste document as ‘invalid’ on Thursday, sending panic waves in the Congress.

However, her husband and Congress leader Shyamrao Barve, who had filed his papers as the substitute (dummy) candidate, is now the official nominee in Ramtek (SC), the district election authorities have confirmed.

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Stunned by the developments, Rashmi Barve rushed to move the Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) challenging the rejection of her caste certificate but a division bench has posted the matter for further hearing on Monday (April 1).

Top Congress leaders have accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of harassment tactics of opposition candidates as it apprehends a tough fight and even senses a defeat looming ahead.

“Rashmi Barve was a formidable challenger in Ramtek (SC). That’s why the BJP is using ‘saam, daam, dand, bhed’ in the Lok Sabha polls against the Opposition parties and their leaders, and her caste certificate was cancelled by the DCCSC,” slammed state Congress President Nana Patole.

He pointed out that Rashmi Barve had been issued the caste certificate in February 2020, so the present committee had no right to cancel it and hence, “the caste panel had exceeded its authority”.

“This committee has passed a verdict beyond its authority. So we demand that action should be taken against this panel. Navneet Kaur-Rana’s caste certificate was revoked by the Bombay High Court, but she remained an MP for five years as the matter is pending in the Supreme Court, and she is again fielded by the BJP in Amravati (SC),” said Patole.

Leader of Opposition Vijay Wadettiwar said that Rashmi Barve’s certificate was cancelled due to the BJP’s ‘political vendetta’ and the Congress will fight it out in the court.

“The BJP is resorting to such low-level tactics due to the fear of losing power… They had no candidates so they had to ‘import’ leaders from other parties to achieve their hollow slogans, but the people will teach them a lesson,” said Wadettiwar.

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