A day after the Delhi Police recovered a revolver that was allegedly used by Sukhdev Singh Namdhari in connection with the murder of slain liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep, the Uttarakhand unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expelled Namdhari from the party on Monday.
Namdhari's expulsion came after much deliberation, since a group in the BJP was reportedly lobbying in his favour. Namdhari has been booked for firing gunshots at Hardeep.
Last week, the state government sacked Namdhari as the chairman of the minority commission, owing to his criminal background. Fourteen cases were registered against him in different police stations.
"The party investigated Namdhari's case and decided to expel him from the party," BJP state unit president Bishan Singh Chuphal told Hindustan Times on Monday. He, however, added that Namdhari was not an active member of the BJP.
"He was only a primary member and after holding a constitutional position (chairman of minority commission) he was completely involved in officiating his role," Chuphal said.
In fact, till Sunday, the BJP was in a dilemma whether to expel Namdhari or not, since the party strategists believed that Namdhari enjoyed considerable clout among Sikhs in the terai belt in the Nainital parliamentary segment.
Namdhari is said to be a close associate of Ponty and as per sources, he was nominated to the constitutional position at the behest of Ponty.
Though Namdhari has been expelled from the BJP, he still remains state president of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, an arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Interestingly, just before his arrest last week, Namdhari claimed that a few leaders in the BJP were trying to defame him and intended to make him a 'scapegoat'.