Lashing out at her own party, Congress national spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi Wednesday said that the Uttar Pradesh party unit had reinstated eight party workers who were suspended last year for allegedly misbehaving with her at a meeting in Mathura.
The UP Congress said the eight, including a state general secretary and a former Assembly candidate, were reinstated “on the recommendation of Congress general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia” after they expressed regret and promised not to repeat the act in the future.
Calling the eight leaders “lumpen goons”, Chaturvedi on Twitter said: “Deeply saddened that lumpen goons get preference in @incindia over those who have given their sweat and blood. Having faced brickbats and abuse across (the) board for the party but yet those who threatened me within the party getting away with not even a rap on their knuckles is unfortunate.”
The letter, ordering the reinstatement, was issued by former MLA Fazale Masood, a member of the UP Congress disciplinary committee. The order stated that in the recent past, disciplinary action was against taken against the “concerned persons” on the recommendation of Priyanka Chaturvedi and that the eight leaders had requested reinstatement expressing regret over the incident.
A copy of the letter has been marked to A K Antony, Chairman of the AICC Disciplinary committee, Scindia and State President Raj Babbar.
Rajiv Bakshi, UPCC media coordinator said, “These leaders were earlier suspended because of their certain misconduct but later because of some lack of communication, the committee reinstated them. The whole issue and the decision is being reviewed and there would be a proper action taken against those who misbehaved with Priyanka Chaturvedi ji.”
Mathura district Congress president Sohan Singh Scindia said: “The incident relates to September 1, 2018, where Priyanka Chaturvedi had come to Mathura for a press conference after which she met a group of leaders, during which she had alleged that some leaders had misbehaved. After her complaint, these leaders were suspended.”
All the eight leaders are known faces of the Congress in Mathura and most are office bearers as well. The eight leaders are Ashok Singh Chakleshwar, working president, district Congress committee also member AICC; Umesh Pandit, general secretary, UP; Pratap Singh, a former candidate of the Chata Assembly in Mathura; Abdulla Jabbar, party vice president, Mathura.
The list also includes leader Giridhari Lal Pathak, Bhuri Singh Jayas, who is former district president of the Sewa Dal, Praveen Thakur, district president of the Mathura NSUI and Yatendra Mukdam, district Youth Congress president.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Chakleshwar said, “I come from a family of old Congressmen and freedom fighters. My grandfather was an MP and even today I am campaigning for the Congress candidate. So, there is no issue of misbehaving with any party leaders, especially Priyanka, who is a daughter of Mathura though she lives in Mumbai. I have been informed about the reinstatement through an email and the decision has not been taken in a day as there was an inquiry conducted on the direction of Scindia ji.”
He said the incident with Chaturvedi was a result of “local politics”. Masood did not respond to calls and messages by The Indian Express. Chaturvedi could not be contacted for comment.