In yet another escalation of the family feud, former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala expelled his elder son Ajay Singh from the primary membership of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) amid indications that the party could be on the verge of a split.
Last week, Chautala senior had expelled Ajay Singh's two sons, lawmaker from Hisar Dushyant and his brother Digvijay, on the same charges of anti-party activities.
The INLD Haryana unit president Ashok Arora and Abhay Singh Chautala, the younger brother of Ajay Singh who is also the Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Assembly announced the disciplinary action against Ajay Singh.
57-year-old Ajay Singh, who is serving a 10-year jail term along with his father and former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala in a teachers' recruitment scam in Haryana, is currently out of prison on a two-week parole.
However, no disciplinary action has been taken against Ajay Singh's wife and legislator Naina Chautala, who had openly criticised the party's decision to expel her two sons.
Addressing the press, Abhay Singh Chautala accused his elder brother of playing at the hands of the BJP and the Congress to weaken the INLD in Haryana. Nine of the 18 INLD legislators in Haryana Assembly and two of three Parliament members of the party were present at the press meet to announce Abhay Singh's expulsion.
"I have never harboured any ambition to become a chief minister, but those who try to weaken the party for furthering their personal ambitions will face disciplinary actions." he said.
The younger scion of Chautala family had warned that lawmakers and the office bearers of the party who would attend any meeting called by his elder brother will face "consequences." Reacting to the expulsion, Abhay Singh Chautala said that he was not aware why such an action was taken against him. His son Digvijay claimed that Om Prakash Chautala "was being kept in the dark and he must not be even knowing about this (expulsion)."
Digvijay alleged that there was a conspiracy behind the entire move and claimed that the expulsion letter shown by INLD state unit president Ashok Arora to reporters was "forged."
With the family feud continuing unabated, the INLD, Haryana's principal opposition party, appears to be headed for a split. The camps headed by both Ajay and Abhay have separately called for meetings of party leaders owing allegiance to them on November 17.
The INLD state unit president claimed that the meeting called by Ajay Singh in Jind is in violation of the party constitution because such a meeting cannot be convened "without approval of the party's national president," Om Prakash Chautala.
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