Punjab BJP president backs Shanta, says charges against him baseless

  • Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jul 24, 2015 22:46 IST

A day after former minister and Jalandhar (Central) MLA Manoranjan Kalia levelled serious allegations of misappropriation of election funds against veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Himachal Shanta Kumar, the Punjab unit of the party on Friday disassociated itself from the charges.

State BJP chief Kamal Sharma backed Shanta and showered praises on the veteran leader. "I can say that as the Punjab BJP in-charge, Shanta never collected funds during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. We all know that in the BJP, election funds are not collected by party affairs in-charges but by the state unit," said Sharma.

Sharma also hailed Shanta's contribution in expansion of the party in Punjab. He said the party won two out of three parliamentary seats in the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

"The charges of misuse of funds against Shanta are baseless and uncalled for. All decisions, be it financial or political, were taken collectively by the state unit with consultation of senior leaders," said Sharma, adding that complete transparency is maintained in the poll management in every election and there was no question of misuse of funds.

On Thursday, Kalia in an open letter to Shanta, charged him with misusing party funds in Punjab. Kalia also challenged the veteran leader's integrity and honesty claims saying that he has misappropriated the election funds collected from Punjab for his election from Kangra during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

On Shanta's letter to the party high command, the state BJP chief said: "Being a junior in the party, I will not comment on Shanta's letter to national BJP president Amit Shah."

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