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BJP refers Satpal-Kaushik row to disciplinary committee

After having failed to sort the row between the two senior ministers and the fight between the supporters that followed, BJP state president, Ajay Bhatt referred the scuffle to the party’s disciplinary committee.

dehradun Updated: Aug 14, 2017 19:50 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,BJP,Satpal Maharaj
Supporters of Satpal Maharaj and Madan Kaushik scuffled after the BJP leaders failed to bring a truce between the two ministers.(Rameshwar Gaur/HT FILE PHOTO)

DEHRADUN: BJP state president Ajay Bhatt referred the scuffle between supporters of Satpal Maharaj and Madan Kaushik to the party’s disciplinary committee, after BJP leaders failed to bring a truce between the two senior ministers.

The disciplinary committee will submit its report in a fortnight. On August 10, supporters of the two ministers had come to blows over the removal of some structures outside Maharaj’s Prem Nagar ashram in Haridwar. Both sides had registered a police case against one another.

“We decided to refer the matter to the disciplinary committee, which will submit its report after a fortnight. The decision was taken after both sides persisted with their allegations and counter allegations,” Bhatt told Hindustan Times on Monday. He took the decision at the BJP’s district committee meeting held in Haridwar on Sunday, which was attended by Kaushik, Maharaj and their supporters.

On Sunday at a meeting, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had entrusted Bhatt the responsibility to resolve the row between two ministers following the August 10 clash in Haridwar. Rawat reportedly urged the two cabinet ministers to resolve their differences as the episode was an embarrassment to his government.

Bhatt said the members of Sant Samaj, who was sitting on a protest outside the Prem Nagar ashram since Thursday, agreed to end their dharna on his request. “We also tried to convince both sides to help us resolve their differences,” he said.

But, the BJP state president added, the two sides persisted with their allegations and counter allegations. “Since it is not fair to take a unilateral decision on such issues, we referred the matter to the disciplinary committee for investigation.”

Earlier, Maharaj had demanded that the chief minister order an inquiry into the clashes so that those responsible for demolishing the boundary wall of his ashram and dumping garbage at its gate were removed from their positions. Later, Maharaj’s supporters and the members of Sant Samaj sat on a dharna outside the ashram. The minister said a dozen of his supporters were injured in the clashes, blamed Haridwar mayor Manoj Garg for inciting violence and dubbed the episode as an assault on the Sant Samaj.

On Saturday, Maharaj had told HT that the incident was an act of vendetta on the part of Garg. “What annoyed him is that I got retendering of a car park in the Hari-ki-Pairi area done. The mayor had rented it out for Rs 1 crore but after retendering the rent went up to more than Rs 3 crore,” he alleged. But Garg’s brother Maneesh had refuted all the allegations made by Maharaj.

First Published: Aug 14, 2017 19:49 IST