Mangaluru: The Dakshina Kannada district Congress Committee is planning to approach the State Election Commission and High Court against a BJP woman candidate from the Pachanady ward, accusing her of obtaining a caste certificate from the Mangaluru Tahasildar under false pretences.
Addressing the reporters here on Saturday, November 2, MLC Ivan D’Souza said that Sangeetha R Nayak filed her nomination from the Pachanady ward, which is reserved for women candidates of the Backward Caste (A), by concealing the facts.
Sangeetha R Nayak used to belong to the Muslim community and previously went by the name Ishrath Begum. She changed her name and embraced the Hindu religion after marrying Ravindra Nayak of Kudupu. After her marriage, she obtained a decree from the court for her new name as Sangeetha R Nayak in the year 2017. However, in order to contest from the Pachanady ward, she obtained a Muslim caste certificate from the Mangaluru Tahasildar in 2019, by concealing the material facts.
“Even though the Congress party has placed its objection in this regard, the Returning Officer (RO) did not entertain us and accepted her nomination claiming that the RO is not authorised to question the authenticity of the documents and that Sangeetha had furnished all the required documents while filing her nomination,” the MLC said.
Ivan informed that, as Pachanady is reserved for the backward caste (A), only those candidates who belong to the Muslim and Poojary communities can contest from this ward of the MCC. Even though she converted to the Hindu religion, she has not been identified with any caste under the Hindu religion. She can contest from a ward reserved for the general category and not from the Pachanady ward as it is reserved for members of backward caste (A). As the Tahasildar has issued a caste certificate without knowng the facts, it should be taken back and necessary action should be taken against Sangeetha for giving false information,” he said..
Meanwhile, Ivan clarified that the Congress is preparing to approach both the State Election Commission and High Court against Sangeetha to urge them to disqualify her candidature.
Former mayor Kavitha Sanil, legal counsel Mohammed Haneef and other Congress leaders like Padmanabha Naringana, Santhosh Kumar and others were present.