Senior Karnataka Congressman Roshan Baig has been suspended with immediate effect for alleged anti-party activities. “The AICC (All India Congress Committee) has approved the proposal sent by the KPCC (Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee) to take action against… Roshan Baig… for anti-party activities,” a release issued by the Congress leadership said today.
Mr Baig has been suspended on the basis of an inquiry, it added.
The politician had recently criticised his colleagues in the party, describing state-in-charge KC Venugopal as a “buffoon”, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah as “arrogant” and KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao as a “flop show”.
Mr Baig’s name had also surfaced in connection with the Rs. 15,000-crore IMA Jewels ponzi scam, in which thousands of investors are feared to have lost their money after company owner Mansoor Khan disappeared. An audio recording, said to be that of Mansoor Khan, claimed that the politician had taken money illegally.
Photographs of Mr Baig with Mansoor Khan were also circulated, although the former has denied any involvement in what appears to be a multi-crore fraud.
The suspended legislator did not even attend a Congress Legislature Party meet called after the Lok Sabha results were announced. The Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition, which managed to win just one seat each, faced open criticism from leaders of both parties in the days that followed. Apart from Mr Baig, former State Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi has also been openly defiant of the party for months now.
A recent cabinet expansion, in which two independents were given berths, was an attempt by the coalition to stay stable. While the BJP has said that it will not actively try to bring down the state government, it needs to hold on to every legislator to stay in power. But this time, Mr Baig seems to have gone a little too far.