Thirteen days after expelling Lok Sabha MP Dushyant Chautala and his younger brother Digvijay Chautala from the party, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) Wednesday expelled their father and former MP Ajay Chautala also from the primary membership of the party. Ajay was also removed from the post of INLD’s state unit secretary general. With Wednesday’s action against Ajay, the INLD is apparently heading for a split. The Abhay faction, while addressing a press conference here, claimed that party chief Om Prakash Chautala has expelled Ajay for “anti-party activities”.
INLD’s state unit president Ashok Arora, who is also a close confidant of Abhay Chautala, announced Ajay’s expulsion in presence of Abhay and the party’s MLAs and other senior leaders.
Om Prakash Chautala and his elder son Ajay are currently undergoing 10-year rigorous imprisonment after both were among 53 convicted, in 2013, on charges of corruption in the Junior Basic Training (JBT) teachers recruitment scam in Haryana. While Om Prakash is currently lodged in Tihar jail, Ajay is out of jail on furlough. With the latest development, a split in Haryana’s main opposition party INLD is imminent. The two factions of INLD have now started staking claims on the party. Currently, Abhay is looking after most of the organisational affairs in the party. Abhay, who is also Leader of Opposition, has support of 14 MLAs of total 18 legislators of INLD in the 90-member Haryana Assembly. The other four MLAs are in Ajay’s camp.
November 17 shall be a crucial day for both Abhay and Ajay, when both factions have called parallel meetings of party’s state executive body. While Ajay has called the meeting in Jind, where he shall also be addressing a rally of INLD workers, Abhay announced that he will chair the party’s meeting at Chandigarh.
Meanwhile, INLD state unit president Ashok Arora termed this decision to expel Ajay “painful”.
“Chaudhary Om Prakash Chautala had handed over Ajay’s expulsion letter to me on November 12 and asked me to inform the media. But, I suggested that sahib (Om Prakash Chautala) to make efforts (to resolve the matter) suggesting that such a decision should not be taken. But I accept that we failed in our efforts,” Arora told mediapersons.
The letter, as read out by Arora, mentions that “the anti-party activities of Ajay had become intolerable and painful” as “his activities and speeches caused irreparable loss to the unity and prestige of the party”.
In reply to a question by The Indian Express, Arora said, “Chautala sahib had asked me to take action on November 12 but we took the decision to expel him today”.
Ajay’s expulsion letter was not shared with the media despite Arora making an announcement for the same during the press conference today.
Hitting out at Abhay, Ajay’s family has termed the latest move as a “conspiracy”.
Addressing a public meeting at Yamunanagar later in the day, Ajay said that Dushyant was blamed for provoking the youths during the October 7 rally at Gohana but “there are no charges against me”.
Speaking to mediapersons at Panchkula, Dushyant, said: “Chautala sahib [Om Prakash Chautala] cannot take such a decision. But if such a decision has been taken, it’s a black chapter in the history of INLD.”
Ajay’s younger son Digvijay was more aggressive in his reaction. “Till November 12, after meeting Chaudhary Om Prakash Chautala and quoting him, they [Abhay faction] were claiming that everything will be fine. On November 13, he [Om Prakash Chautala] had gone back to jail. Thus, nobody would have met him there. Even jail’s record shows that nobody met him. Today, in the morning of November 14, they [Abhay faction] are showing the expulsion letter. It’s clear case of conspiracy. This is all fake. Expulsion letter is a forged letter,” Digvijay told reporters in Sirsa.
Stating that the latest action has been taken keeping the Jind meeting in mind, Digvijay blamed Abhay “for trying to supersede Om Prakash Chutala to hijack the party”. Digvijay also said that lakhs of party workers will participate in the ‘Karyakarta Sammelan’ at Jind on November 17.
Om Prakash Chautala was admitted in a Delhi hospital because of illness from October 25 till November 12, after which he went back to Tihar jail, New Delhi.
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