Uttarakhand BJP has summoned four party MLAs accused of acting against the party line to explain their actions on Monday, BJP’s Uttarakhand unit president Bansidhar Bhagat said Saturday.
Of the four, Dwarahat MLA Mahesh Negi is accused of rape. The other three are Deshraj Karanwal (MLA from Jhabrera), Puran Singh Fortyal (Lohaghat), and Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion (Khanpur).
The state BJP leadership took the decision after consulting party national vice-president and Uttarakhand in-charge Shyam Jaju and joint general secretary (organisation) Shiv Prakash. Jaju and Prakash are on a three-day visit to Dehradun to review organisational affairs and are scheduled to attend the state core committee meeting on Sunday with Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and Union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, a Lok Sabha MP from Haridwar in the state.
Last week, a woman from Dehradun district had given a complaint to the police, accusing Mahesh Negi of raping her, and had sought a DNA test to confirm that the MLA is father of her child.
Negi has denied the accusation. Before the woman filed her complaint, Negi’s wife had lodged an FIR accusing the woman of extortion attempt.
On Opposition Congress’s demand that Negi undergo a DNA test, as sought by the woman, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat told the media on Saturday: “DNA test is a legal process and can be done only through the legal course. Mahesh Negi has said he is ready for it. A process (investigation) under the police is going on. The court will decide further action in the matter.”
Among the other three legislators, Pranav Singh Champion was expelled from the party’s primary membership for six years on charges of indiscipline in July last year after a video emerged, showing him brandishing four guns while dancing to a song.
State BJP chief Bhagat said Champion has repeatedly requested the party leadership to listen to his side of the incident. Asked whether the MLA can be brought back to the party, Bhagat said, “The party will speak to him. If we are satisfied with his arguments, we will decide accordingly.”
According to a party leader, the two other MLAs – Karanwal and Fortyal — have been summoned for allegedly speaking against the party line, and against the state government, in public forum.
On Saturday, the party also released a digital compilation of relief efforts done by BJP workers during the lockdown period.
On Sunday, the state core committee is expected to discuss issues such as resuming organisational activities that were stopped due to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown. Sources said the committee may hold discussions on the possibility of Cabinet expansion as well.