In a rare move, the Congress has declared former Madhya Pradesh minister Rajkumar Patel persona non grata (an unwelcome person) in the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters and other party offices.
Patel was expelled from the party for six years for allegedly giving a walkover to senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj from Vidisha constituency in Madhya Pradesh in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. She won the seat by 3.89 lakh votes.
“He has been banned from entering AICC or any party office. If he violates the order, we will take strict action against him,” said B K Hari Prasad, party general secretary in-charge of Madhya Pradesh.
The “tough step” comes amid speculation that some senior AICC leaders were “pushing his case” before the high command, seeking “forgiveness for him” and “urging the leadership to take him back”.
Sources said Patel had recently been spotted “hobnobbing” with some senior leaders. But, the party seems in no mood to oblige. “It’s a matter of serious concern. There is no question of forgiving him,” Prasad said.