Tainted Gandhi disappears after BJP dumps him

August 28th, 2008 - 3:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Aug 28 (IANS) Pradeep Gandhi, a former MP the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sacked for his role in the 2005 “cash-for-query” scam, appears to have gone into hiding after the BJP made a dramatic U-turn and denied it had rehabilitated him.On Monday, the BJP had announced that it was giving the 44-year-old charge of the party election control room in Chhattisgarh.

Gandhi, elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004 from Rajnandgaon, was given a well-equipped office on the second floor of the party office here. He was one of about 10 MPs who had to give up their parliament membership after being caught on camera taking money to ask questions in the house.

But after the Congress described Gandhi’s appointment as “BJP’s compromise with corruption”, and the media gave wide coverage to the event and termed it “a backdoor rehabilitation of Gandhi”, the BJP found itself on the backfoot.

Not wanting anything to mar its chances of retaining power in the state in the coming assembly elections, the BJP has now announced that Gandhi was never made in-charge of the state election control room.

Neither state BJP president Vishnudeo Sai nor his colleagues are ready to explain what really happened.

A senior functionary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) told IANS: “This man (Gandhi) deserved to be rehabilitated as he impressed everyone with his party loyalty. But it seems the stars are not in his favour.”

Hundreds of BJP politicians and workers besides friends who congratulated him after the Monday announcement are desperately wanting to know from him what went wrong.

But there is no trace of Gandhi in his hometown Rajnandgaon. Hs aides and long-time associates say they have no clue where he is.

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