Allahabad: Embarrassed by posters depicting Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi as `Rani Laxmi Bai` and `Lord Shankar` respectively, the city unit of the Congress has suspended a senior party worker here, charging him with violating "party norms" which rejected "the idea of involving religion for political ends".
According to a statement issued by city Congress president Shyam Krishna Pandey, "Abhay Awasthi Baba, a senior Congress worker" has been suspended "from the primary membership of the party with immediate effect following his indisciplined venture of portraying Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi as Rani Laxmi Bai and Lord Shankar respectively in the Kumbh Mela area".
The statement said the disciplinary action had been taken with the approval of party MLA and zonal Congress president Vivek Singh, "who too seriously resented the said violation of party norms."
Vivek "opined that Congress party stands for secularism, socialism and democracy" and "impresses the masses by its policies and programmes and rejects the idea of involving religion for political ends," the statement said.
It said Awasthi was a "habitual offender" who had in the past come up with posters portraying Sonia and Rahul as `Durga` and `Lord Krishna` respectively, "which provided the opposition with a reason to burn their effigies".
The charge against Awasthi "is self-proving, through his statements in the media and display of the posters and hoardings on different news channels and newspapers," the statement said.
Meanwhile, Awasthi has said he had got the posters and hoardings installed "only to raise awareness among the people about the contributions of the Congress" and added that he was ready to apologise if it had caused any problem for the party.