As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) braces up for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, its disciplinary committee has recommended expulsion of over two dozen leaders for indulging in anti-party activities during the assembly elections.
In a confidential report to state president Satpal Singh Satti, the chairman of the disciplinary committee of the party has sought action against over 25 leaders, mostly of block units.
The member disciplinary committee is headed by senior party leader Ganesh Dutt, while other members include vice-presidents Rasil Singh Mankotia and Dr Rajiv Bhardwaj and BJP mahila morcha chief Ritu Sethi. “The report has been forwarded to party president for consideration,” said Dutt.
Soon, after the debacle in the state assembly elections, the party held a meeting and analysed the reasons behind the defeat.
There were widespread complaints of anti-party activities from official candidates, district and block units. At the instance of the central party leaders, who were upset with defeat in the elections, the party's disciplinary committee issued show-cause notices to nearly 157 leaders.
The leaders who rebelled against the party during the elections were expelled for contesting against the official nominees.
Those who were expelled are former minister and six-time MLA Roop Singh Thakur from Sundernagar, Kamla Patial from Dharamsala, Bhupendra Chauhan from Bhatiyyat, Sudha Sushant, wife of expelled BJP Lok Sabha member Rajan Sushant, from Fatehpur, Sanjay Guleria from Jwali, Damodar Chauhan from Nachan, Hira Nand Kashyap from Solan, Mahant Ram Chowdhary from Balh, Rajendra Rana from Sujanpur and Shyam Lal Thakur from Mandi.
During the course of inquiry that spanned over nearly three months, the committee found cases of anti-party activities that were received from across the entire district. Complaints pertained to BJP leaders overtly supporting the rebel candidates. There were complaints that in some cases the leaders became “inactive” during the elections.
The complaints of anti-party activities were more from Kangra district, where the party lost out due to infighting. In Kangra that comprises 15 assembly segments, BJP had to face the heat of rebels in nine assembly segments. Leaders at the block levels had either supported the BJP rebels or had sided with splinter group Himachal Lokhit Party, which had filed nearly 40 candidates in the state.
In many cases, the committee members had summoned both complainants and aggrieved leaders. The committee members absolved many leaders after hearing grievances in close doors.
“We have received recommendations from the disciplinary committee and appropriate action will be taken after due consultations with senior leaders of the party,” said state party chief Satpal Singh Satti.
Soon the party will hold meeting of senior party leaders which is likely to be attended by former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, former union minister Shanta Kumar, BJP's national general secretary JP Nadda and national BJYM president Anurag Thakur.
Rebellion in the BJP had cost the party dear in the elections as it could win 26 seats, while three BJP rebels - Pawan Kajal, Rajinder Rana and Manohar Dhiman - later became associate members of the Congress.