HP Cong suspends Doon MLA

Ram Kumar Chaudhary

Nearly a month after he was booked for the murder of a Hoshiarpur girl and eventually arrested on January 8, Congress MLA from Doon, Ram Kumar Chaudhary, was suspended from the primary membership of the party. He was also removed from the post of general secretary of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC).

Himachal Congress president Sukhvinder Sukhu, who had assumed office on Tuesday, said: "Even when I took over as the PCC chief, this issue was weighing heavily on my mind. I decided not to wait anymore, as it was already too late to act. As a youth leader, I want to invoke zero tolerance against leaders involved crimes against women or corruption."

"The orders will come into force with an immediate affect. It will also be a message for other leaders to maintain high standards in public life and not misuse the party's name," he added.

Chaudhary is one of the four accused in the murder of the 24-year-old Jyoti Kumari, whose body was found in Panchkula. Son of former MLA Lajja Ram Chaudhary, he was elected to the Himachal Assembly from Doon constituency in Solan district.

He is yet so take oath as an MLA, as he had been evading arrest in the case. However, he surrendered before a court at Panchkula in Haryana on January 8 after the court rejected his plea for anticipatory bail and remanded him to police custody.

While admitting that the MLA's involvement in the case has come as big embarrassment for the party, Sukhu said: "There is a need to send a strong message to leaders that the party will act tough if such things comes to its notice, irrespective of the stature of the person. We have to take harsh measures to ensure discipline in the organisation. There can be some repercussions after such decisions but I will act in the interest of the party."

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