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Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: A Zila Parishad member of Kashipur block (C Zone) in Rayagada lost his membership on charges of submitting false caste certificate.

The District Magistrate cancelled the membership of Nilkantha Jhodia after hearing a complaint filed by another Zila Parishad member, Popular Majhi.

It was alleged that Jhodia won the Zila Parishad election by identifying himself as a tribal.

"During the last panchayat elections, Jhodia had submitted a caste certificate before the returning officer in which he had declared himself to be from a tribal caste. Under Section 8 clause 3 of the Caste Certificate Rules, 1980 his membership has been cancelled," advocate of the complainant, Nabakumar Kanta said.

On the other hand, Nilakantha said that he will move the Orissa High Court.

"Kashipur Tehsildar had issued me the caste certificate in 1992. Now that my membership has been cancelled I will appeal against it in High Court."

Jhodia's advocate Samuel Tandi said, "According to the law, this doesn't come under the jurisdiction of the district collector. Only the commissioner is entitled to cancel the membership."

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