Himachal ex-BJP leaders float new party

Shimla : A group of senior BJP leaders who quit the BJP protesting against corruption this week floated a new party the Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) on Friday here .

Former M.P. Maheshwar Singh will be the president of the HLP and former minister Radha Raman Shastri , Shyama Sharma and Mohinder Sofat among other office bearers .

Speculation is now rife in the state about the formation of a third alternative which could include dissidents from both the BJP and the Congress along with tie-ups with the Left and other political forces in the hill state . The state goes to the polls later this year .

A group of BJP leaders led by Shastri resigned from the BJP earlier this week after accusing chief minister P.K.Dhumal and state BJP president Khimi Ram of promoting widespread corruption including illegal property transactions .

“We have decided to leave the party in protest against rampant corruption by the top leadership of the state ,” Shastri said .

He charged Dhumal with being conspirator who had destabilized the party and by turning it into a one man show .

“The setting up of private universities has become a roaring real estate business run by the BJP leaders at the helm of affairs ,” Shastri said .

Talking about land being allotted for setting up of private universities Maheshwar Singh accused the government of putting out the entire state for sale .

They said they were disappointed with national BJP president Nitin Gadkari who had not looked into their complaints of corruption since the past three months .

In a 20 year career published widely. He has worked for the BBC, AFP, The Statesman, IANS and the Business Standard . Known for his hard hitting writing and occasional off-beat stories. He lives in Shimla.

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