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Suspension came soon after arrest

The Congress on Monday suspended Suresh Kalmadi, its Lok Sabha MP from Pune, hours after the CBI arrested him in connection with the alleged financial irregularities in Commonwealth Games. Aurangzeb Naqshbandi reports.

delhi Updated: Apr 26, 2011 01:04 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

The Congress on Monday suspended Suresh Kalmadi, its Lok Sabha MP from Pune, hours after the CBI arrested him in connection with the alleged financial irregularities in Commonwealth Games.

“The disciplinary committee of the Congress has suspended Suresh Kalmadi from the membership of the party,” said general secretary and media department head Janardan Dwivedi.

The party high command had already axed Kalmadi as the secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) in November last year, following the allegations of corruption in the CWG projects.

Congress sources said party president Sonia Gandhi gave her stamp of approval to the decision minutes after Kalmadi’s arrest.

“This shows her commitment to fighting corruption at all levels,” a senior Congress functionary said. In Kalmadi’s case, the party’s disciplinary committee showed exemplary promptness and bypassed all norms and procedures that are generally followed while suspending a member.

A showcause notice, which is otherwise given to a member to explain why he should not be suspended from the party, was not served to the sacked CWG organising committee chairman.

The party’s disciplinary committee, comprising senior leaders Pranab Mukherjee, AK Antony and Motilal Vora, also did not get together to discuss the issue. As Mukherjee was campaigning in West Bengal, the panel telephonically deliberated upon the matter.

However, the disciplinary committee did not specify the period of suspension. “If he comes out clean in the investigations, the suspension will be revoked. It also depends on his conduct,” the senior leader added.

In Parliament, the Pune MP will continue to be bound by the party whip.