Tribune News Service
Shimla, February 10
The rebels, who had been shown the door for working against the party in the past elections, are likely to be given entry by the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha poll.
The first step in this direction has been taken as all such party men, who had been expelled or suspended, have been asked to seek re-entry by making plea before the party by February 14. The State Disciplinary Committee of the Congress, headed by AN Vidyarthi, will meet on February 15 to take a final call on all such requests.
It is reliably learnt that there are about 150 applications pending before the party which have now been segregated into those who had contested the elections against the party nominee and those who had only worked against the Congress in elections. Some prominent leaders awaiting re-entry into the party include Harish Janartha, who had contested as an Independent from Shimla, Hardeep Bawa, who had contested from Baddi and Mast Ram, who had contested from Karsog.
Not only will the Disciplinary Committee take a call on all pending requests, seeking re-entry, but the party has also invited requests from others, who have yet not made such a plea. All such leaders and party workers have been asked to make their submission along with the reasons and justification for action against them.
In fact, one of the sore points between former Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was the reluctance on the part of Sukhu to take back such rebels. Many supporters of Virbhadra Singh, especially those who had contested the poll against the party’s official nominee in the 2017 poll, had not been taken back.
It is being expected that the wait of many loyalists of Virbhadra Singh, who had faced expulsion, will end soon. Sukhu had been of the firm opinion that the rebels must not be taken back as what they had done was an act of indiscipline.
However, with the change in the Congress, the new president Kuldeep Rathore is keen to take along all factions and also take back old party men who for whatever reason worked against the party during elections.
It was immediately after the Assembly poll in 2012 that show-cause notices had been issued to 86 leaders, including five former MLAs. Notices of 13 were withdrawn immediately while some others were re-admitted later. In fact, Virbhadra had written to Sukhu to re-admit many such leaders even before the 2014 Lok Sabha poll.
150 awaiting HPCC nod
- Disciplinary panel will meet on Feb 15 to take the final call
- There are about 150 applications pending before the party
- Some prominent leaders awaiting re-entry into the party include Harish Janartha, who had contested as an Independent from Shimla, Hardeep Bawa, who had contested from Baddi and Mast Ram, who had contested from Karsog.
- One of the sore points between former HPCC president Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was the reluctance on the part of Sukhu to take back such rebels.
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