Days ahead of Assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh, the ruling BJP on Monday suspended five of its rebel leaders from the primary membership of the party for contesting the election as Independents.
Those suspended include former MLAs -- Tejwant Singh Negi (Kinnaur), Kishori Lal (Anni), Manohar Dhiman (Indora), K L Thakur (Nalagarh) -- and the BJP's Himachal unit vice-president Kripal Parmar.
All these leaders are contesting the polls as Independents from their respective constituencies after the BJP denied ticket to them.
Parmar is contesting as an Independent from Fatehpur constituency.
"BJP's state unit president Suresh Kashyap has suspended the workers from the primary membership of the party for six years for contesting the elections as Independents against the party's official candidate," the statement reads.
With more than a dozen BJP leaders contesting as Independents, the party is in a tough spot ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled to be held on November 12.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)