On Sunil Jakhar silence, AICC: No reply equals guilt admission
Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar not replying to show-cause notice “will be construed” as his admission of guilt, an AICC leader Thursday said, adding that strong action would be taken against him for this “gross indiscipline” in the next disciplinary action committee meeting. The date for the meeting, however, is not yet finalised. “If […]
Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar not replying to show-cause notice “will be construed” as his admission of guilt, an AICC leader Thursday said, adding that strong action would be taken against him for this “gross indiscipline” in the next disciplinary action committee meeting. The date for the meeting, however, is not yet finalised.
“If he fails to respond to the notice, it would be construed that allegations against him are true,” said AICC general secretary Tariq Anwar, who is also a member of the party’s disciplinary panel chaired by A K Antony.
While issuing notice to Jakhar and former Union minister KV Thomas on April 11 for their comments and actions that were “not in tune with the party line”, the disciplinary committee had sought their reply within a week. While Thomas submitted his reply, Jakhar failed to do so.
Anwar had said that the disciplinary committee in its next meeting “will take appropriate action (against Jakhar), which includes suspension or expulsion”.
The notice to Jakhar read that AICC-in-charge, Punjab, Harish Chaudhary had written a letter to the Congress president that “you have made derogatory statement against Congress leaders and also attributed motives to the leadership of thinking on communal lines while deciding the leadership of CLP Punjab. It is in gross violation of party’s ethos”.
Jakhar, a dyed in the wool Congress leader, meanwhile, had earlier said, “I have not replied to the notice and that is a fact. Whatever the committee does, it is their right… They have given a notice and it is up to them to take whatever decision they take”.
In the run up to Assembly elections earlier this year, the three time MLA, who is also former MP, had said that he was not considered for the post of chief minister, after Capt Amarinder Singh was ousted, as he belonged to the Hindu community.
Jakhar was recently also accused of making “objectionable” statement against the Dalits. While he did not name anyone, his comments in a television interview were seen to be aimed at former chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi. Jakhar had hit out at Channi earlier saying that he had been a liability for the party. The former PCC chief has denied making any statement against the Dalit community and said his remarks were put “out of context.” Channi had subsequently met Rahul Gandhi and Raj Kumar Verka, a Dalit face of the party, had taken a strong exception to alleged remarks of Jakhar. Following a complaint, the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes (NCSC) also asked the Jalandhar police commissioner to look into the matter.
On Wednesday, Jakhar paid obeisance at Guru Ravidass Temple in Varanasi and said he regrets if his remarks has hurt anyone’s sentiments, or led to anything emotive or if there was some misunderstanding. He underlined that he always fought for “the backward, downtrodden and especially members of the Scheduled Castes community” and that he had come to pay obeisance to “seek blessings” to continue the fight.
Jakhar said that he “never ever thought of any ill will against any community or any person and that the question of using any derogatory words for someone does not arise”.
Meanwhile, leaders close to Jakhar said that the AICC show-cause notice pertained to his alleged remarks relating to not being considered as CM being a Hindu face and was not related to his alleged anti-Dalit remarks.
Contacted, Harish Chaudhary said, “I don’t have the copy of the show-cause notice. Many internal things happen here. I do regular reporting whatever is going in the State. It is my duty.”