Congress expels Jagmeet Brar

Chandigarh, April 11 (IANS) The Congress on Monday expelled its senior leader Jagmeet Brar – who had recently commented that the AAP was gaining ground in Punjab — from the party’s primary membership.

Congress general secretary and in-charge for Punjab affairs Shakeel Ahmed announced Brar’s expulsion.

“He has been expelled for anti-party activities. His actions and statements were against the party and its leaders,” Ahmed said.

The expelled leader had been attacking the Congress leadership in Punjab. He said recently that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was making gains in Punjab.

Party leaders had urged the Congress high command to sack Brar.

Brar is a senior leader of the party from Punjab and won the Faridkot parliamentary seat in 1992 and 1999.

He had defeated Sukhbir Singh Badal, now the Punjab deputy chief minister and ruling Shiromani Akali Dal president, in the 1999 Lok Sabha election from Faridkot.

Brar was also a member of the Congress Working Committee earlier.

Brar was suspended from the Congress in August 2014 after his outburst against senior central leaders over the 2014 Lok Sabha debacle. He quit the Congress in January last year.

A senior leader from the politically dominant Malwa belt (south of river Sutlej), Brar was suspended after he said that the Congress brass must go on a sabbatical after the Lok Sabha election rout.

There was strong speculation that Brar may join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But he was taken back into the Congress later last year.

The Congress is facing an uphill task in the run-up to the assembly polls in Punjab.

It is pitted against the ruling Akali Dal-BJP alliance, which has been in power since 2007 in Punjab, as well as the AAP, which is emerging as a strong third force in the state.

Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal ruled out the possibility of Brar being accommodated in the Akali Dal.

“He is a misguided missile,” Badal told reporters in Amritsar.

Punjab will see assembly polls in February next year.

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