How BJP Leader Navneet Rana's Last-Minute Nomination Drama Unfolded

The bench ruled in favour of Navneet Kaur Rana.

New Delhi:

BJP leader Navneet Kaur Rana’s nomination bid for the Amravati Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra resembles a plot straight out of Bollywood, replete with suspense, anticipation, and a last-minute twist of fate.

As the clock ticked towards noon on Thursday, the atmosphere at the Dussehra ground in Amravati crackled with anticipation. Navneet Kaur Rana, the incumbent MP, stood amidst a rally attended by supporters and political heavyweights including Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. However, the fate of Ms Rana’s candidacy hung precariously in the balance, awaiting a key verdict by the Supreme Court in a case related to her caste certificate. 

The Supreme Court was hearing a petition seeking reversal of a Bombay High Court order to cancel Ms Rana’s caste certificate.  The High Court had previously revoked Ms Rana’s ‘mochi’ caste certificate, alleging fraudulent procurement using fabricated documents on June 8, 2021. Additionally, it imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on Ms Rana, asserting that records indicated her belonging to the ‘Sikh-Chamar’ caste.

With the clock reading 11:58 pm, a bench of Justices JK Maheshwari and Sanjay Karol commenced the eagerly awaited verdict. The bench ruled in favour of Ms Rana, stating that the High Court had erred in interfering with the scrutiny committee’s report on her caste certificate. The court’s ruling breathed new life into Ms Rana’s electoral ambitions.

The courtroom drama, taking place over 1,100 km away, unfolded with the intensity of a thriller, as the faces on the rally stage transformed from apprehension to jubilation. As the news of the Supreme Court’s decision reached the stage in Amravati five minutes later, Mr Fadnavis wasted no time and declared it as a great victory for Ms Rana. 

With the spectre of disqualification out of the way, Ms Rana, flanked by her supporters and BJP leaders, marched to the returning officer’s office and at 1:42 pm, filed her nomination papers.

“In 2019, when I contested the elections as an independent, the people of Amaravati supported me despite the huge political wave and at a time when I did not do any work in my constituency, I think they had the confidence that their voice would be heard at the Parliament,” she said, as quoted by news agency ANI. 

Ms Rana clinched the reserved Amravati parliamentary seat in as an independent candidate in 2019. The 38-year-old entered politics following her marriage to BJP leader Ravi Rana. Initially aligning with the NCP, she contested her inaugural election from Amravati in 2014, but faced defeat.

Maharashtra’s 48 parliamentary constituencies will go to polls across five phases: April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13, and May 20.


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