The All India Congress Committee (AICC) on Thursday stayed, within hours, a decision of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee’s (TNCC) disciplinary panel to suspend Nanguneri MLA and the party’s State treasurer, Ruby R. Manoharan.
Mr. Manoharan was “temporarily suspended” from the party, more than a week after a tussle broke out between his supporters and others at TNCC headquarters Satyamurthi Bhavan.
K.R. Ramasamy, president of the disciplinary action committee of the party, announced his suspension.
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The development came against the backdrop of a section of senior leaders seeking a change in leadership in the TNCC, citing the tussle.
However, late in the evening, AICC Tamil Nadu in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao announced that the procedure for suspension had been followed “improperly”, and it was done “in contravention to the principle of nature [sic] justice”.
Hence, he stayed the “suspension order” as well as the entire disciplinary proceedings being conducted by the disciplinary action committee of the TNCC.
Earlier, the disciplinary panel had issued a show-cause notice and directed Mr. Manoharan to appear before it on November 24 and give his explanation over the scuffle that broke out at the party headquarters on November 15.
Mr. Manoharan’s supporters had protested against some organisational appointments when a meeting called by TNCC president K.S. Alagiri was under way to discuss measures to strengthen the party ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Mr. Manoharan had, in a letter, expressed his views and sought more time for appearing before the panel.
Mr. Ramasamy, however, said the disciplinary committee had decided that the legislator’s views were unacceptable. Mr. Manoharan has been directed to appear during the next hearing, the date of which will be decided later, and until then, he shall be suspended from the party, he said.
Mr. Ramasamy told journalists that the next date of hearing would be decided later.
Meanwhile, Mr. Manoharan told reporters that since he had a prior programme, he could not appear before the disciplinary committee. He said he had worked hard for the party’s development, and the decision to suspend him was disappointing and painful. “The AICC will take a final decision, and I will abide by it,” he said.
Congress MP Karti P. Chidambaram condemned the decision to suspend Mr. Manoharan without giving him a hearing.
Meanwhile, M.P. Ranjan Kumar, president of the Tamil Nadu Congress SC Department, who was also served a show-cause notice in connection with the incident, appeared before the panel on Thursday and expressed his views.