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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

PYC leader Vikas Soni's suspension revoked

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, March 25, 2013
First Published: 21:02 IST(25/3/2013) | Last Updated: 21:09 IST(25/3/2013)

The All-India Youth Congress (AIYC) has revoked the suspension of Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) leader Vikas Soni after an inquiry cleared him of the charge that he had issued an entry pass to an Akali "supporter" for gaining access to a meeting of the PYC, which was addressed by then AICC general secretary and now vice-president Rahul Gandhi in October.

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Soni's suspension was ordered by Rahul himself after it was brought to his notice that an Akali "supporter" was present in his meeting with PYC functionaries at a marriage palace in Amritsar. Rahul had visited Amritsar and Chandigarh in October for knowing the reasons behind the defeat of the Congress in the assembly polls. He had addressed two meetings in Amritsar, the first one of senior leaders of the Punjab Congress and the second one of the PYC.

Vikas Soni, nephew of local Congress MLA OP Soni, was held responsible for the lapse as being the incharge of the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency, he was the main organiser of the meeting. The detractors of OP Soni were said to be behind the suspension of his nephew.

The letter revoking the suspension and clearing Soni of the charge was issued on March 23 by AIYC general secretary (incharge of Punjab) Vikas Upadhyay. A copy of the letter addressed to PYC president Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary reached Soni on Sunday.

In his reply to the show-cause notice issued by the AIYC, Soni maintained that Paramjit Chopra, who was referred to as an Akali "supporter" present in the meeting, was a member of the PYC. He had claimed in his reply that during the Amritsar municipal corporation (AMC) polls in June last year, certain Akali leaders had forcibly taken Chopra to an Akali MLA of the city and had got photographs clicked showing the MLA putting a 'siropa' around his neck.

Soni's claims were cross-checked by a PYC inquiry committee and found to be correct. On the basis of the committee's report, Soni was cleared of the charge, re-inducted into the PYC and given back the charge of the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency.

"Certain persons wanted to tarnish my image and settle scores, but the truth has emerged and justice has been done," Soni told HT.

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