With entire focus on the Mandi byelections, both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have put their plans to expel leaders from the party for their indulgence in anti-party activities on hold.
Wielding a stick of discipline, the BJP had issued notice to as many as 157 leaders, including former ministers, office-bearers of block and district units and the frontal organisation for indulging in anti-party activities during the elections.
Notices were issued following complaints from block district units as well as from the official nominees. A three-member disciplinary committee headed by party's senior leader Ganesh Dutt met here on Saturday to decide the fate of leaders. Other members who attended the meeting include Dr Rajiv Bhardwaj, Ritu Sethi and Rasil Singh Mankotia.
After completing its probe, the party sent a six-page report to state party chief Satpal Singh Satti. The committee recommended disciplinary action against 86 leaders. The committees resolved that complaints against 24 leaders were serious in nature and further it recommended “expulsion” from the party.
Prima facie, the committee found that 36 leaders had breached the party's discipline and worked to support the rival candidates in the elections. Further, the committee recommended for suspending primary membership of these leaders at least for two years.
The committee after hearing the complaints resolved that over 36 leaders had tacitly supported the rival candidates during the elections.
Adopting a lenient approach, the committee further recommended letting off the leader with a warning.
“We have prepared a report and forwarded to the state party chief for his consideration,” Dutt told the Hindustan Times.
“Any action against the erring leaders will only follow after the bypoll is over,” he said.
The party had received maximum complaints from Kangra, Mandi, Sirmour and Shimla districts. “Complaints related to Kangra had been resolved by the district unit itself,” said Dutt.
Meanwhile, the Congress on May 5 had issued show-cause notices to 84 leaders, which included former minister Natha Singh and Satya Parkash Thakur and former legislator Roop Singh. Notices were issued on the recommendations from block and the district Congress committees.
The Congress had prepared to issue notices to 34 other leaders, but now it has put its plan on hold. “We had received replies from a majority of leaders who were issues notices. Any further action against them will only be decided once the elections are over,” says party spokesman Naresh Chauhan