BJP expels former Punjab minister Anil Joshi for 6 years over ‘anti-party’ activities
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday expelled senior leader and former Punjab minister Anil Joshi for six years terming his outburst against the state and the central leadership on mishandling the farm protests as an ‘anti-party activity.’
A two-time legislator from Amritsar North, Joshi, 57, had been openly blaming the party’s state leadership for not giving a correct feedback to the Centre on the farm laws. He had also demanded revocation of the three agri laws.
Joshi was expelled on the directions of state unit chief Ashwani Sharma, said state general secretary Subhash Sharma.
Joshi did not give up his stubborn attitude of going against the party whereupon the state BJP chief on the recommendations of a disciplinary committee expelled him from the primary membership of the party for six years, the statement added.
Joshi was issued a show-cause notice earlier this week. In a two-page reply to the notice, the former minister said he never spoke against the Centre’s farm laws. “I neither spoke against the Centre’s farm laws nor against central leaders,” Joshi said. He added that workers were leaving the party and asked state party chief Sharma whether giving a suggestion to save the party was indiscipline.
According to a senior party functionary, Joshi was expelled after taking the party high-command into confidence.
After his explusion, Joshi said: “Is speaking for farmers a sin? Is it indiscipline to talk about ‘arhtiyas’, industrialists, small traders and labourers?”
“I have worked very hard for the party in the past 35 years. Working as a soldier of the party, I received bullets, my car was burnt. When I was minister, my brother faced bullets. And now they have ended my tapasya (for the party) in such a manner,” Joshi told mediapersons in Batala.
Some senior state BJP leaders also came out in support of Joshi. “Expulsion of a senior leader who gave 35 years of his life to the party is very unfortunate. Joshi spoke for farmers and communal harmony and in no way this was an anti-party activity,” former chief parliamentary secretary KD Bhandari said. He urged the senior leaders to reconsider the move.