HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh High Court Monday set aside the election of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislator Suman Rathod on the ground that she falsely claimed to be a tribal.
The court ruled that she did not belong to the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and was ineligible to represent Khanapur constituency in Adilabad district. The constituency is reserved for the Scheduled Tribes (ST).
The court, however, stayed the operation of the judgment for six weeks to enable Suman to challenge it in the apex court.
Suman, wife of TDP MP from Adilabad Ramesh Rathod, told reporters that she would challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court. She alleged that it was a conspiracy by ruling Congress leaders against her.
The court ruling came on a petition of an organisation fighting for the rights of tribals, which alleged that she made a false claim to be a tribal at the time of the 2009 elections.
The petitioner pointed out that Suman hailed from Maharashtra and belonged to the Lambadi community, which was a backward class in the neighboring state but recognized as a ST in Andhra Pradesh.
Last year, the Adilabad district collector cancelled her caste certificate, saying she resorted to fraudulent means to obtain it.
Suman, who challenged the collector’s action in the high court, contended that she shifted to Adilabad from Maharashtra in the 1970s and married Ramesh Rathod, who is also a tribal.
She pointed out that nobody had challenged her election from the same constituency in the 2008 by-election.(IANS)