Move may backfire on the Akalis | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Move may backfire on the Akalis

Amarinder Singh's expulsion from the Punjab assembly following a House committee report indicting him for his alleged involvement in a land scam in Amritsar is likely to boomerang on the Akalis, reports Pankaj Vohra.

chandigarh Updated: Sep 12, 2008 00:05 IST
Pankaj Vohra

Former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's expulsion from the Punjab assembly following a House committee report indicting him for his alleged involvement in a land scam in Amritsar is likely to boomerang on the Akalis.

The decision, which smacks of a political vendetta, is the first instance of a former CM being expelled by an assembly for an executive action taken by him during the tenure of the previous assembly.

While it is for the courts to decide on the legal aspects of the decision, politically the expulsion may well help Amarinder ride a sympathy wave and bag a majority of seats for the Congress in the coming Lok Sabha polls.

In an earlier case in the late 1970s, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was similarly expelled from the Lok Sabha after she won from Chikmagalur. The expulsion was seen as a political vendetta and Indira Gandhi gained enormous sympathy from all quarters and finally humbled the Janata Party in the next elections in 1980.

Amarinder is seen as a fighter and this expulsion has not only united the party behind him in Punjab but also brought him the open support of the Congress high command. "The Akalis have acted against all norms of natural justice," said Jassi Khangura, Congress MLA. "How can you be the investigating agency as well as the judge? The Congress will sweep the coming Lok Sabha polls,'' the MLA said.

Harcharan Bains, media adviser to Badal, however, said there was no question of any vendetta. "He has been expelled by the House. The government has nothing to do with it. The matter relates to corruption and tampering of records," he said.