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Maha Congress expels ex-MLA Ashish Deshmukh for ‘anti-party’ statements

Mumbai :  The Maharashtra Congress on Wednesday expelled former MLA Ashish Deshmukh for six years for making public statements against the party leadership including Rahul Gandhi and state unit chief Nana Patole.

The expulsion order was issued to Deshmukh by former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, the Chairperson of the MPCC Disciplinary Committee vide a letter of May 22.

The committee had discussed the show-cause notice served on April 9 to Deshmukh — son of former Minister and ex-state Congress president Ranjit Deshmukh — and his reply to the same.

“We found the reply regarding your public utterances against the party unsatisfactory. You are expelled from the primary membership of the party for six years with immediate effect,” the disciplinary committee’s letter to Deshmukh said.

Deshmukh had fomented a huge row when he called upon Gandhi to apologise to the OBC community over his ‘Modi surname’ remarks that finally led to his losing the Lok Sabha membership.

Later, he accused Patole of allegedly being hand-in-glove with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and taking ‘One Khokha’ (slang for Rs 1 crore) per month from him, which the party had dismissed, saying Deshmukh had lost his mental balance.

Deshmukh had created a flutter in January when he shot off a letter to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge demanding the removal of Patole and holding him responsible for the party’s nosediving fortunes in the state with a spate of electoral losses.

After his series of statements targetting state and central leaders, the MPCC had set up a disciplinary committee headed by Chavan to probe the same and submit its findings.

Incidentally, Deshmukh is a former Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Katol in Nagpur who joined the Congress and, in the 2019 assembly polls, was fielded opposite Devendra Fadnavis in Nagpur South West constituency, but lost.

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