Congress's Move Against Punjab Leader Who Allegedly Targeted CS Channi

In a TV interview, Sunil Jakhar had appeared to be indirectly referring to Charanjit Singh Channi and questioned the party leadership for its choice.

Congress's Move Against Punjab Leader Who Allegedly Targeted CS Channi

Sunil Jakhar had appeared critical of former Punjab Chief Minister CS Channi.

Chandigarh:

Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar has been issued notice by the party's disciplinary panel for his apparent criticism of former Chief Minister CS Channi, party leaders said on Monday. Mr Jakhar will have to respond within seven days.

Mr Jakhar had faced a backlash over a TV interview last week, with Dalit activists burning his effigy and a party leader seeking his expulsion for using "objectionable language" against the community.

Mr Jakhar, however, had said his statement was twisted and taken out of context.

According to video clips of the interview circulating online, Mr Jakhar appeared to be indirectly referring to Charanjit Singh Channi, who was the state's first Dalit Chief Minister, and questioned the party leadership for its choice. He, however, did not name anyone.

"The leadership has to know where to keep everybody in place," he said in the interview.

Reacting to the comment, former Congress MLA Raj Kumar Verka accused Mr Jakhar of using "objectionable language" against the Dalit community and demanded that he be expelled from the party.

"You should seek an apology," Mr Verka told Mr Jakhar and said the Congress should "throw Jakhar out of the party immediately".

Mr Verka said Mr Jakhar was upset as he was not made the Chief Minister by the party following Amarinder Singh's unceremonious exit.

Reacting to the Mr Verka's charge, Mr Jakhar said he has always respected every religion and community.

Mr Jakhar said he always fought for the downtrodden and raised their voice.

He said his statement was twisted and taken out of context.

However, if anybody's sentiment was hurt with his statement, he expresses regret over it, Mr Jakhar said.

Besides Mr Jakhar, Congress leader from Kerala KV Thomas was also issued notice for defying the party's order and attending a seminar organised by the CPI-M in Kannur, prompting Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President K Sudhakaran wrote to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi demanding "strict and befitting disciplinary action" against him.

The Congress Disciplinary Committee including senior party leaders Tariq Anwar, JP Aggarwal and Ambika Soni met in Delhi.

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