By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 13 Jul: BJP leaders in Uttarakhand have put themselves in a completely avoidable embarrassing situation over action against Party ML A from Khanpur (Haridwar), Kunwar Pranav Singh. One day after claiming that Pranav Singh has been expelled from the party, they were made to eat humble pie by admitting that Singh has not been expelled yet. Actually, the party constitution clearly gives authority to expel a party MLA or MP to the top executive of the party, the Parliamentary Board or the National Executive only. Besides this, there is a procedure which has to be followed before expelling anyone from the party over any illegal, immoral or anti party activity! This procedure involves sending a notice to the erring MLA or MP of the party with a ten day period to respond to the charges mentioned in the notice. Once the notice period is over, the state executive takes into consideration the response given by the party leader in question and if it finds the response is unsatisfactory, it can either suspend the party leader concerned or make a recommendation to the National Executive of the party to expel the person. It is totally a matter of discretion of the National Executive, if it chooses to really expel the party leader in question or merely agrees on suspension of the leader concerned. It has power even to decide that no action is required against the party leader. It may be recalled that a video of BJP MLA from Khanpur in Haridwar, Kunwar Pranav Singh had become viral earlier this week which showed him dancing in a room with several weapons in his hand and drinking. The video also showed him allegedly abusing Uttarakhand, something that netizens from Uttarakhand did not take kindly to and demanded a strict action against Singh. In fact, some party leaders including Rajya Sabha MP from the state, Anil Baluni jumped the gun to issue statement that Singh would be expelled from the party. When the journalists contacted Shyam Jaju, who is the party leader in charge of party affairs in Uttarakhand, for his opinion, he too stated that Champion had been expelled from the party. However, this too was not in tune with the procedure that had to be followed for expulsion of Singh. Consequently, Dr Devendra Bhasin, media in- charge of the party in Uttarakhand had to deny that Singh had been expelled. He clarified that a notice had been issued to Singh by Party General Secretary Anil Goyal under direction of the BJP State President Ajay Bhatt. The party was yet to receive any response to the notice till this evening. He added that Jaju had recommended expulsion of Singh to the party’s national executive. However, the final decision rested on the Party High Command only and on the response of Singh to the notice issued to him. Party sources admitted that the confusion had led to lot of embarrassment for the party and some of the party leaders unofficially claimed that the party leaders and the state party leadership was overreacting to the issue. Though, quite embarrassing and undesirable, Singh’s action was neither illegal nor a case of moral turpitude! However, since the party leaders had over reacted, it now appears that Singh could be expelled from the party. The sources claimed that Singh was already apprehending expulsion or continued suspension from the party and was already looking for political career elsewhere. Sources claimed that Congress was the last option as it was unlikely to accept Singh back in its fold after this viral video which made national news. It may be recalled that Singh had fought and won his first assembly election in 2002 as an independent and won it. He had later joined the Congress party and won the 2007, 2012 elections as a Congress leader before switching over to the BJP in 2017 and winning yet again but as a BJP leader. Meanwhile, BSP too has issued an official statement that Singh was not welcome in the BSP. However, even in case of expulsion, Singh will remain MLA till 2022 when the next elections are due. By that time, he may even be forgiven and accepted back in the BJP!