THE central leadership of the Congress is worried that a latest political scandal in Himachal Pradesh may have national repercussions. After the exit of Virbhadra Singh from the Union Cabinet on the “bribery CD” charge, another incident involving Himachal Pradesh is giving sleepless nights to the Congress leadership.
The latest “honeytrap” case involving a Lt Col of Indian armed forces with a Bangladeshi woman has rocked the hilly State. Reason: The young Col is the son of Dr DR Shandil who is a senior Himachal Pradesh Congress leader. He is a former Member of the Lok Sabha from Shimla and was inducted to the Congress Working Committee (CWC) also.
The party leaders are aghast at the turn of events and are down-playing the incident saying that it is not a case of espionage for Pakistan or its intelligence agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). At best it is a case of interacting with a Bangladeshi woman on the Face Book, they argue. But lips of central leaders are sealed.
This correspondent tried his best to contact Shandil on his mobile and landline numbers in Delhi, but the calls went unanswered. The official website of the AICC reveals that Shandil stays at Poorvanchal in JNU campus.
Shandil joined the Congress after a stint with the BJP and later joined Sukh Ram's Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC). He was made a member of the CWC. Obviously, the party high command wanted to cut Virbhadra Singh to size and promoted Shandil. But both are in the woods. If Singh is cooling his heels out of the Cabinet due to the charges against him framed by the trial court, Shandil is at the receiving end due to the activities of his son.