Strife-torn Himachal BJP issues show cause notice to MLA

Strife-torn Himachal BJP issues show cause notice to MLA

Rumblings in BJP's Himachal Pradesh unit have become louder ahead of assembly elections later this year with the party on Thursday issuing show cause notice to one of its MLAs after he demanded change in leadership of legislative party.

Jolted by outburst of senior leader Khushi Ram Balnatah, the BJP issued show cause notice to him for "defiance" of central leadership and asked him to reply within a week.

Party spokesman Ganesh Dutt dismissed the demand and said that the decision to contest next assembly polls under the leadership of chief minister P K Dhumal was taken by the central parliamentary board of the party.

Balnatah is a loyalist of party veteran Shanta Kumar, bete noire of Dhumal.

"It is unfortunate that Balnatah who lost elections four times from Rohroo, won the by-election two years ago due to untiring efforts of chief minister and today he is demanding change in his leadership which is political dishonesty and morally wrong," Dutt said.

Meanwhile, Himachal health minister Rajiv Bindal, who was appointed general secretary by state party president Satpal Satti on Wednesday, said on Thursday that he would resign as cabinet minister on June 25.

Bindal thanked the party high command for accepting his request to give some responsibility in the organisation. Sources said Shanta Kumar camp had been gunning for Bidal, a Dhumal loyalist, and had been demanding his removal.

"I have always been a dedicated worker and would always remain so and leave no stone unturned to ensure that the BJP returns to power after the assembly polls," Bindal said.

Dutt, meanwhile, downplayed the protest by leaders in Solan against appointment of Bindal as general secretary.

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