Former MLA Ashish Deshmukh has termed as “unfortunate” the show-cause notice issued to him by the Maharashtra Congress disciplinary committee, claiming it was part of a “larger conspiracy” since he had been questioning the style of functioning of the party leaders.
Deshmukh further claimed that by issuing him an “unfounded” notice without any substantial reason, the state Congress has insulted the party’s democratic spirit which it is known for more than a century.
The Maharashtra Congress recently suspended Deshmukh from its primary membership for his public statements against the party leadership in the state. Deshmukh is a former Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Katol in Nagpur who later joined the Congress. He was the Congress nominee against BJP leader and now Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis from the Nagpur South West seat in the 2019 Assembly polls.
He is the son of former state Congress chief Ranjit Deshmukh.
On Wednesday, he was issued a show-cause notice by the state Congress’s disciplinary action committee headed by former CM Prithviraj Chavan for his comments that MPCC president Nana Patole receives money from Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Deshmukh had also said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the Other Backward Class (OBC) community over his “Modi surname” remarks In his reply to the notice, Deshmukh said,” It is unfortunate that I have been issued a show-cause notice without any substantial reason.” Defending his statement on Rahul Gandhi, Deshmukh said it needs to be explained and understood with the context to derive the right conclusion.
He said the context of this suggestion was Gandhi’s statement referring to persons with ‘Modi’ surname, following which the former Congress president was sentenced to two years in jail by a court and his membership of Parliament terminated.
“This statement of Hon. Rahul ji is being used as if he has insulted the entire OBC community. Whether we agree with this interpretation or not is altogether a different point. However, my suggestion to Rahul ji was in the interest of the party. I only meant that if at all there is any sentiment against Congress in the OBC community, we should apologise and put an end to the matter,” Deshmukh said.
“This suggestion of mine came on the background of the fact that OBCs constitute 54 per cent of the total population of India. The Congress has been a party which is always supported by OBCs. If this community is hurt, what is wrong in apologising?” he said.
Deshmukh said Rahul Gandhi had apologised unconditionally to the Supreme Court in May 2019 in the Rafale case. He had also extended an apology for wrongfully attributing the “chowkidar chor hai” jibe, he said.
Deshmukh said he suggested the same to Rahul Gandhi to put an end to the matter.
The OBCs must be, in their entirety as far as possible, brought into the Congress fold again to strengthen the party, he said.
“The Congress boasts of being a ‘democratic party’ and its leaders issue show cause notice for a democratic suggestion! This is a great joke,” Deshmukh claimed.
He said the Congress has numerous OBC leaders in Maharashtra and other states too.
“My question is what are they doing for OBCs? What are they doing to pacify the community or to deliver them their rightful share? Unfortunately nothing. They are still when the party is going through a critical phase, enjoying their petty politics, settling intra-party scores and weakening the Congress with the dynastic style of functioning,” Deshmukh said.
Their prolonged silence and dormancy speak more than their occasional words and actions like show-cause notice which carries no meaning, he claimed.
Deshmukh said he was committed to the OBC community’s rights, development and welfare. “I have been doing my bit for the same,” he claimed. The BJP has planned an OBC outreach programme and their governments at the Centre and in states are implementing multiple schemes for OBCs. On the other hand, Congress does not seem to have any concern for OBCs and it is painful to see that a democratically made pragmatic suggestion is taken otherwise, Deshmukh said.
“There is no exigency to explain my statement about the MPCC president taking money from the current chief minister. However, I leave it to Maharashtra Congress leaders to interpret in their own ways as they did about my suggestion to Rahul ji,” he said.
If the Congress goes on neglecting the OBC community, its fate is sealed, Deshmukh claimed.
Rather than issuing such baseless show-cause notices, I advise Maharashtra Congress leaders to use their minds, words and actions in the interest of OBCs which will automatically cater to the party’s interest, he said.
Deshmukh said his statements have been misinterpreted to target him as he is vocal for the welfare of OBCs in general along with the party and workers too.
“It is part of a larger conspiracy against me who has been rightfully questioning leaders for their style of functioning. an unfounded notice, the MPCC has insulted the democratic spirit that the Congress is known for more than a century. But everyone should mind that I am undeterred and determined,” he added.
Read all the Latest Politics News here
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)