Veteran Congress leader and former union minister Ram Lal Rahi has been served a showcause notice by the party for participating in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and for his alleged growing intimacy towards BJP. The notice has been issued on the complaint of another former union minister Jitin Prasada, who had been accusing Rahi of anti-party activities ever since Lok Sabha elections. He sent a fresh reminder to AICC seeking action against Rahi.
The matter was referred to disciplinary committee of UP Congress Committee (UPCC), which has served show cause notice to Rahi. However, Rahi has asked UPCC to give specific instances with proof and a copy of the complaint that has been submitted against him.
The copy of the complaint along with clippings of local newspapers from Sitapur, which carried news item and picture of him participating in “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” on December 19 are being sent to him.
Rahi, who was Minister of State for Home Affairs during Narasimha Rao government, has been four time MP from Mishrikh Lok Sabha constituency in Sitapur.
Speaking to The Indian Express, he refuted the allegations. He, however, said he knows that Jitin Prasada “has done all this”. “He comes from a royal family and thinks that a person like me should bow before him, which is not possible. If I did not support him during election, it is because he did not support me in my election and in my daughter-in-law’s election,” he added.
Asked about his participation in the PM’s cleanliness drive, Rahi said, “It is wrong to associate any cleanliness drive with any individual. In late 70’s, Congress also used to undertake cleanliness drive on Independence Day, so I am just following party’s tradition. I have asked UPCC to give me details of the charges on me and I would reply to them accordingly.”
Meanwhile, Ram Krishna Dwivedi, senior party leader and chairman of UPCC disciplinary committee said, “While notice has already been served to him, we are also sending a copy of the complaint along with newspaper clippings. He will be given chance to explain himself”.
Asked about Rahi’s allegations, Prasada said, “Everyone in the district knows the truth. His intimacy with rival parties had been increasing ever since Lok Sabha election. I have given my complaint and it is up to the party to take decisions.”
Rahi had won Lok Sabha election for the first time in 1977. He had left Congress in 2008 but did not join any other party. He returned to partyfold and contested 2009 Lok Sabha election from Mishrikh but lost. Later, in 2012, his daughter-in-law Manjiri Rahi was given party ticket to contest from Hargaon Assembly constituency but even she had lost. Rahi blames Prasada for his and his daughter-in-law’s defeat.