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  India   All India  04 May 2019  Jolt to Gujarat Cong as MLA Bhupendra Khant disqualified

Jolt to Gujarat Cong as MLA Bhupendra Khant disqualified

THE ASIAN AGE. | SHIVANI
Published : May 4, 2019, 7:22 am IST
Updated : May 4, 2019, 7:22 am IST

Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi told mediapersons on Friday that his office had received governor Om Orakash Kohli’s verdict.

The decision has come at a time when the Congress is trying hard to get rebel MLA Alpesh Thakor disqualified. (Photo: PTI)
 The decision has come at a time when the Congress is trying hard to get rebel MLA Alpesh Thakor disqualified. (Photo: PTI)

Ahmedabad: In an indirect blow to the Congress in Gujarat, Independent MLA Bhupendra Khant from Morva Hadaf in Panchamahal district was disqualified on Friday. Elected as an Independent, he had declared his support to the Congress in the Assembly.

Mr Khant’s Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificate was found invalid recently.

Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi told mediapersons on Friday that his office had received governor Om Orakash Kohli’s verdict. “Mr Khant is declared disqualified today and the seat is declared vacant from May 2,” Mr Trivedi said.

The matter came to light after the 2017 Assembly poll. The Morva Hadaf Assembly seat was reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST). It was found that the certificate which Mr Khant had produced while filing his nomination papers were wrong.

The high court had formed an inquiry committee to look into the matter which found that Mr Khant belongs to the OBC community. The committee did not agree with his argument that he should be considered as belonging to the ST community as his mother was from an ST group.

Reacting to the decision, Mr Khant said, “I have yet to hear from the Speaker of the Assembly, but this is politically motivated. I will fight it in the Supreme Court.”

The Congress, too, criticised the move and called it a political conspiracy. The decision has come at a time when the Congress is trying hard to get rebel MLA Alpesh Thakor disqualified. Since Mr Thakor has resigned from the party and openly worked against it, Congress chief whip Ashwin Kotwal has made a representation seeking his disqualification. Speaker Trivedi is expected to hear on the matter soon.

The disqualification of Mr Khant as an MLA and few of its legislators joining the BJP in recent times has resulted in the Congress strength in the Assembly getting reduced.

Tags: alpesh thakor, bhupendra khant