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Jagat Singh suspended from Congress

Special Correspondent

For alleged anti-party activities

Also faulted for making irresponsible remarks against senior Congress leaders Congressmen involved in rally organised by Rajasthan Kisan Sangarsh Samiti would be disciplined

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee on Friday suspended Jagat Singh, party MLA and son of the former External Affairs Minister, K. Natwar Singh, from the party for his alleged involvement in the oil-for-food scam and for "anti-party activities." The PCC issued him a show cause notice, giving him two weeks time to reply as to why he should not be expelled from the Congress for six years.

The action against Mr. Jagat Singh has come on the eve of a rally here being planned by the Rajasthan Kisan Sangarsh Samiti, a newly formed body which has the backing of the Rajasthan Jat Mahasabha, on August 23. The PCC has also suspended former MLA from Bharatpur, Jaswant Singh Ramoo, Zila Pramukh of Bharatpur Raghuvir Singh, and local leader Yogendra Singh for their "involvement" in mobilising support for the proposed rally.

Talking to this correspondent in the evening, just before the party leadership's actions against him became known, Mr. Jagat Singh said the Rajasthan Jat Mahasabha had planned the rally in the interest of the community. "In any case we are also Jats," he said. Asked about the Rajasthan Jat Mahasabha's opposition to the Congress during the previous Lok Sabha election, Mr. Jagat Singh said, "There are no permanent friends or enemies in politics."

"Position misused"

The PCC notice to Jagat Singh refers to his involvement in the oil-for-food scandal, which was first unearthed by the Volcker report and then probed by the Justice Pathak Committee. The charge sheet mentions that Mr. Jagat Singh misused his father's position to benefit Andaleep Sehgal. "You are involved," it said.

"This was bound to happen. We could see it coming," Ramnarain Choudhary, leader of the Congress Legislature Party, said when contacted.

The State Congress leadership has also faulted Mr. Jagat Singh for making irresponsible remarks against senior Congress leaders.

Asked about specific names he had spoken against, Congress sources here said his remarks against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and chairman of the party's disciplinary committee A.K. Antony, had invited action.

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