Shimla: Taking a tough stance on criminalization of politics, the new state Congress working president Sukhvinder Singh Sukku, at the very outset suspended Ram Kumar Chaudhary, a newly elected MLA who is an accused in the Jyoti murder case, from the party.
Interacting with the media after taking charge as the officiating Pradesh president, the 48 year old Sukku today said, “the party will not tolerate any indiscipline, criminal activity, especially crime against women or corruption.”
“In the interest of the party I will not hesitate to take harsh decisions. For the alleged involvement of legislator elect Ram Kumar in a murder case, he stands suspended from the party and has been removed from any party position that he was holding,” said Sukku.
When questioned about instilling transparency in the organization and enforcing zero tolerance to corruption, a resolution that the new president intends to implement, he said that a mechanism of declaration of assets by party office bearers and ministers would be evolved after discussing it with chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
Sukhwinder, as a legislator in the last assembly, suo motto had declared his assets and sources of income in the hope that all other MLAs across party lines would do so.
Among his priorities, he listed out strengthening the party at the grassroots by inducting more people from the youth.
First task at hand it to win the Mandi parliamentary seat, the bye-election for which is to be soon held, he said. With Virbhadra Singh resigning from Mandi Lok Sabha seat, elections have to be held within 6 months for filling the vacancy in parliament.
In preparation for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the block and district level organizational structure would be strengthened after which a State convention would be held, he added.
On taking charge yesterday, most senior leaders from rival camps had converged onto the party office to express unity and solidarity with the choice of Sukku being picked to head the party in the state.
About the shift in the party management towards a younger leadership, chief minister Virbhadra Singh on the occasion had had quoted Alfred Lord Tennyson’s lines about the change of guard having taken place.
“The old order changeth, yielding place to new, God fulfils himself in many ways, lest one good custom should corrupt the world.”
The chief minister had also warned detractors over spreading rumours about instability of the government. ‘My government is rock solid and would complete its tenure,” he said on the occasion.