Congress cracks down on Uttarakhand rebels, expels two leaders

Dehradun, March 21 (IANS) Toughening its stand on rebel leaders, the Congress on Monday expelled from the party two senior leaders for six years for indulging in anti-party activities.

Saket Bahuguna, son of former Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, and state Congress joint secretary Anil Gupta were expelled from the party.

Saket Bahuguna had contested the last Lok Sabha elections from Uttarakhnd on the congress ticket.

Sources told IANS that the Congress high command has asked Chief Minister Harish Rawat to go ahead and tackle the rebellion with an iron hand.

The action indicated that the Congress leadership was not in a mood to initiate dialogue with the rebels and that it was even willing to sacrifice the government if need be.

The state goes to polls to elect its new assembly early next year.

The nine legislators who rebelled against the Harish Rawat government in the state assembly last week have already been served show cause notices by the assembly speaker.

Leader of the rebel group, Harak Singh Rawat has already been sacked as the state’s agriculture minister.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, accused by the Congress of conspiring to topple its government, has publicly washed its hands of the rebellion but demanded that the Rawat government be dismissed and central rule be imposed in the hill state.

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