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Family feud escalates, O P Chautala expels son Ajay from party

Family feud escalates, O P Chautala expels son Ajay from party

(Eds: With more inputs and reactions) Chandigarh, Nov 14 (PTI) The ongoing feud within the Chautala family escalated with jailed INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala expelling his elder son Ajay Singh from the primary membership of the party for alleged anti-party activities.The decision was taken on Monday and announced at a press conference here on Wednesday called by Ajay's younger brother and Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Assembly Abhay Singh Chautala.Ajay Singh (57), who is serving a 10-year jail term along with his father and former chief minister O P Chautala in a teachers' recruitment scam in the state, is currently out on a two-week parole. He was also removed as the secretary general of the party's state unit.Two weeks ago, the INLD chief had expelled from the party Ajay Singh Chautala's two sons, Hisar MP Dushyant and his brother Digvijay, exposing the feud to public view.Though Ajay Singh's wife and INLD MLA Naina Chautala too has been vocal against her detractors within the party after action against her sons, she has been spared from any disciplinary action.At the press conference here Wednesday, 55-year-old Abhay Singh Chautala, for the first time, launched an attack on his elder brother and accused him of playing in the hands of the BJP and the Congress to weaken the INLD.Abhay said that he had never harboured any ambition to become a chief minister, but those who try to weaken the party for furthering their personal ambitions will face action.He warned that any MLA, MP or INLD office bearers who attend a meeting called by his elder brother in Jind on Saturday will face action.Reacting to the expulsion, Abhay Singh Chautala said that he was not aware on what charge such such an action was taken, while his son Digvijay claimed that Om Prakash Chautala "was being kept in the dark and he must not be even knowing about this (expulsion)."Digvijay alleged that there was a conspiracy behind the entire move and claimed that the expulsion letter shown by INLD state unit president Ashok Arora to reporters was "forged".With these fresh developments, the INLD, which is Haryana's principal opposition party, appeared to be headed for a split. The camps headed by both Ajay and Abhay have separately summoned a meeting of party's sitting and former MLAs, MPs and other office bearers in Jind and Chandigarh, respectively, on November 17.Both the camps will attempt to parade MLAs and MPs and office bearers in their meetings as a show of strength to claim control over the party.Arora announced the decision to expel Ajay in presence of Abhay Singh Chautala as well as nine of the 18 party MLAs and two of the three MPs. He flashed before reporters a letter signed by Om Prakash Chautala in this regard.He said the INLD has called a meeting of the state executive as well as of MLAs and MPs in Chandigarh on November 17. On the same day, Ajay Singh has called a similar meeting in Jind.The INLD state unit president claimed that the meeting called by Ajay Singh in Jind is in violation of the party constitution because such a meeting cannot be convened without approval of the party president.""Therefore, any meeting which is convened without prior approval of the party's national president, shall invite disciplinary action," Arora said.Asserting that the party is supreme and no one is above it, the letter by Om Prakash Chautala stated that the "anti-party activities" of INLD's Haryana unit secretary general Ajay Singh have "caused hurt and have become unbearable"."Ajay Singh has convened a meeting on November 17, which is unconstitutional, and makes it clear that he is trying to run a parallel set up to weaken the party," the letter stated while announcing Ajay Singh's expulsion from the party.He said that the INLD president had gone through lot of "pain" in view of the recent developments and had to take decision to expel his elder son with a "heavy heart".Asserting that the party is supreme and no one is above it, the letter by Om Prakash Chautala stated that the "anti-party activities" of INLD's Haryana unit secretary general Ajay Singh have "caused hurt and have become unbearable"."Ajay Singh has convened a meeting on November 17, which is unconstitutional, and makes it clear that he is trying to run a parallel set up to weaken the party," the letter stated while announcing Ajay Singh's expulsion from the party.Earlier, the festering family feud saw two of Ajay's sons -- Dushyant and Digvijay -- being "expelled" from the party on November 2 by an order they have refused to accept.While Dushyant has said that his expulsion order had not been issued officially by the INLD and the party's national executive had not met to decide the issue, Arora on Wednesday showed letter signed by O P Chautala pertaining to their expulsion.The action against Dushyant and Digvijay was taken after their supporters allegedly shouted slogans at an INLD rally in Gohana, apparently targeting Abhay Chautala. PTI SUN VSD NSDNSD