The Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has warned senior party leader Raja Pateriya of expulsion from the party over his alleged remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Issuing a notice to Pateriya on Tuesday, Congress sought an explanation why he should not be expelled from the party’s membership.
The MPCC, while terming the alleged act as ‘indicipline’, condemned the controversial remarks made against Prime Minister Modi. It has said that alleged remarks made against the Prime Minister were ‘offensive’ and ‘condemnable’.
“You have used offensive and condemnable words against PM Modi during a meeting in Panna district on December 12. You should explain why you should not be terminated from the party’s membership,” reads the notice issued by MPCC.
Earlier on the day, Pateriya was arrested from his residence in Panna and was produced bfore a court. During the hearing, the former minister maintained that he used the word ‘killing’ in the sense of ‘defeat’ and pleaded for bail, however, his bail plea was rejected and he was sent to 14-day judicial custody.
However, Pateriya, who is also the Congress vice-president in Madhya Pradesh, maintained that he didn’t use ‘offensive’ words and is a ‘follower of Mahatma Gandhi’.
“It’s a fight of ideology. I haven’t said those words. I am a follower of Mahatma Gandhi,” he told reporters outside the courtroom and showed a victory sign.
Pateriya was minister in Digvijaya Singh-led cabinet in the state (1993-2003) and is considered close to Singh.
The state Congress unit including former chief minister Kamal Nath has condemned Pateriya’s alleged remarks, however, some senior leaders stood in his favour.
Though the Congress leaders who favour Pateriya did not made any official statement, they unofficially claimed that he was politically targeted.
Veteran Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Govind Singh has opposed Pateriya’s arrest. “I oppose Raja Pateriya’s arrest, BJP should not hype false incidents. Raja in his speech firstly clarified that he meant defeating Modi and he apologised later. His arrest is not justified. BJP wants to end and harass oppositions, I am standing strong with him,” Singh said.