Following the recent assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, the state Congress has expelled over two dozen party leaders for allegedly working against the party during the elections.
The party expelled former horticulture minister Singhi Ram, a one-time lieutenant of Virbhadra Singh who represented Rampur constituency till being denied ticket during the last elections.
Virbhadra preferred former IPS officer Nand Lal, who was in the special security of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, to Singhi Ram, who had demanded the ticket from the reserved Rampur assembly segment, the home turf of Virbhadra.
The decision came following complaints from the Block Congress Committee, District Congress Committee and from individuals.
Singhi Ram described the decision as unfortunate. "It's a one-sided decision taken by the party. The party should at least have waited for the results. Instead of finding flimsy grounds, a fact-finding committee should have been constituted," said Singhi Ram, claiming that during the elections he was hospitalised at Noida as he had dengue fever.
"I hope the party will also take action against those who worked against the official candidate in Kasumpti," said Singhi Ram. Virbhadra's close relative Vijay Jyoti Sen had contested the election against party nominee Anirudh Singh.
Others who were expelled included Manoj Kumar Gaddi from Dharamsala. During the recent elections, Sudhir Sharma had been declared as the official candidate from Dharamsala, but as the electioneering began, Gaddi was announced as the candidate and Sharma was told to shift to Jawalamukhi. But following Virbhadra's intervention, it was Sharma who contested from Dharamsala.
Navneet Thakur and Baldev Chaudhary have also been expelled. In Sulah assembly segment, Sanjay Rana, a close aide of former transport Minister GS Bali, Prasdhan Singh, Aman Sood, Rattan Singh, Lekh Raj Rana and Ram Parmar have been expelled.
During the last elections, Sanjay Rana had unsuccessfully contested on the Congress ticket from Thural.
Party's general secretary of Shimla urban Sanjeev Kuthiala and councillor wife Sushma Kuthiala have also been expelled from the party for six years.
In Rohru, the party expelled municipal council president Raj Kumar Nittu, KK Chauhan, Prithvi Raj Khitta, Shiv Pal Thakur, Ajit Rana, Rippon Lal and Noor Ahmed.
These leaders were earlier issued notice for anti-party activities.
The state Congress had also issued notice to Manjeet Thakur, who was the party nominee in the by-elections. Strangely, Thakur's name did not figure in the list of those expelled.
Those expelled from Rampur are former block unit president Darshan Dass Thakur, Inder Dass Mehta, Ishwar Dass Laktoo, Rajendra Snehi, Nand Lal Bushahri and Hitender Gupta.