Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 11
In a rare punitive action, the Congress party’s disciplinary action committee on Monday issued show-cause notices to former Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar and former union food minister KV Thomas for anti-party activities.
Both leaders have been given a week to respond.
The committee chaired by former defense minister AK Antony met in the capital today and disposed of pending complaints of indiscipline against Jakhar and Thomas.
Jakhar is facing action for remarks on Punjab election eve that “he got the maximum 42 MLA votes in the race for Punjab chief minister-ship after Amarinder Singh was removed, Sukhjinder Randhawa got 16, Charanjit Singh Channi, the Congress’ pick for the post two votes, Navjot Sidhu six and Preneet Kaur 12 “.
After the Congress party debacle in Punjab, most state leaders in their feedback to the AICC said Jakhar’s remarks had alienated the Hindu community in the state, damaging the party.
Jakhar also described Channi as a liability for the Congress in Punjab – a remark seen by AICC as defiance of party line to project Channi.
KV Thomas was showcased for attending a conference called by the CPM, Congress party’s principal rival in Kerala, despite party chief Sonia Gandhi instructing state leaders not to go against the state unit line on the matter.
Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, who also had the invite to the same event on April 9, dropped out after Sonia’s nudge but Thomas went ahead.
Confirming the notices to senior party leaders, Tariq Anwar, a member of the disciplinary panel, said, “We will await the responses. If found unsatisfactory, action will be taken. “
The committee has among members Rajya Sabha MP (Punjab) Ambika Soni, Jai Prakash Agarwal and G Parameswar.
The Congress has decided to act tough on indiscipline after recent defeats in five states, with out of line remarks and intra party quibbling identified as a major reason behind party losses.