Saturday, March 31, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

HP rebels reconsidering stand
Supporters unhappy with decision
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, March 30
Sensing the mood of party workers, who seem to be annoyed with the decision of the rebels to rejoin the ministry, the dissident leaders are reportedly reconsidering their stand.

A meeting of the district BJP has been convened for April 2, where the Union Minister, Mr Shanta Kumar, is expected to be present. With most of the rebels and senior party leaders attending the crucial meeting, the issue of re-induction of the rebels into the ministry is likely to be discussed.

Contrary to the expectations of a tumultuous reception to the seven rebels, their arrival in their home-district, after a patch-up with the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, went unnoticed, even by their own supporters. The rebels appear to have lost the status of heroes.

They arrived here in Kangra yesterday to attend rituals in connection with the death of a sister-in-law of the Union Minister, Mr Shanta Kumar. The rebels, including Mr Kishan Kapoor, Mr Dulo Ram, Mr Ramesh Chaudhary, Mr Harinarain Singh and Mr Des Raj, reached the native village of Mr Shanta Kumar, Garh Jamula, near Palampur yesterday.

Since yesterday the former minister, Mr Kishan Kapoor, has been camping in Dharamsala, while the district BJP chief and MLA Dulo Ram is in Baijnath. These leaders are expected to return to Shimla, after the district BJP meeting on April 2.

It is being said here that the image of the rebels has received a drubbing with some of them readily accepting the offer to be re-inducted into the Cabinet. This has created an impression among their supporters that they were just hankering after their lost ministerial berths.

Owing to the sharp reaction of their supporters as well as difference of opinion among the rebels on the issue of rejoining the ministry, the dissidents have started reconsidering their stand within three days of their patch-up with the Chief Minister.

Party leaders feel the reinduction of the rebels into the ministry immediately would send the wrong signal. “If it is done after a while when the Chief Minister recasts his ministry, with changes in portfolios, it would still be honourable for the rebels,” commented a party leader.

It is learnt that two rebels are very keen on their reinduction into the ministry. Had it not been for the opposition from other dissident leaders, the reinduction would have taken place on the very next day of the patch-up.

The April 2 meeting of the district BJP is considered crucial. It is here that the party workers are expected to echo their sentiments and spell the stand that the rebel leaders should adopt.


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