BJP's 'batsman' MLA, cheerleaders face action

Kailash Vijayvargiya, the BJP's Bengal campaign in-charge in the national election, had downplayed his son's offence, calling him a "kachha khiladi" or "novice" and insisting that too much was being made of an issue that was not big.

Senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya’s MLA son Akash, who has cockily justified his public thrashing of an Indore municipal corporation officer with a cricket bat a week ago, has plunged in deep trouble.

His cheerleaders in the party, who organised a rousing welcome to the first-time MLA on his release from the jail on a bail, too face strict action.

The dramatic turn in the nationally broadcast incident has come following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s direction in the BJP parliamentary board meeting to expel “such people" from the party without exception, "no matter whose son".

Hours after the prime minister expressed displeasure over the 'unacceptable misbehaviour' of the MLA without taking his name and those who supported the thrashing, the BJP leadership is believed to have served a notice to Akash.

Akash's half a dozen supporters are likely to be served notice on Wednesday.

A BJP leader here said that since the direction has come straight from the prime minister, the party’s central leadership is dealing with the case.

“The state leadership is not involved in the matter so far”, he added.

According to BJP sources, party general secretary Ramlal, who is party's Madhya Pradesh in-charge, spoke to Akash’s father Kailash Vijayvargiya, who is also a general secretary.

Akash, another MLA from Indore Ramesh Mendola and half a dozen party leaders from Indore are likely to be suspended from the party membership till their replies are received by the BJP disciplinary committee, the party sources said.

In a video clip, the 34-year-old MLA was seen chasing the official and beating him with a bat as policemen watched. The video was widely shared on social media and was condemned by rival parties.

The official was part of a team that was removing encroachments from a colony.

Akash, who was arrested after the incident, claimed that he reacted after some officials of the anti-encroachment team dragged and abused women at a housing complex.

On Sunday, he walked out of prison to a grand welcome from his father Kailash Vijayvargiya and supporters. A day before, some of his supporters had even fired shots in the air at the city BJP office to celebrate his bail.

Akash was not just unapologetic but seemed to hint that it could happen again if he was provoked

Kailash Vijayvargiya, the BJP's Bengal campaign in-charge in the national election, had downplayed his son's offence, calling him a "kachha khiladi" or "novice" and insisting that too much was being made of an issue that was not big.

The comment, as well as his move to receive his son outside the prison, did not go down well with the party leadership.

Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday said that he would wait for appropriate action against Akash as promised by the prime minister.    

Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh scoffed at Modi's reported comments and challenged him to take action.

"If the prime minister has the guts, let him expel Akash Vijayvargiya," he said.

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