On 18 October, in reaction to his suspension from the party, rebel Congress MLA from Chattisgarh R K Rai made derogatory remarks against Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, saying "I can't call a donkey a horse".
The Chattisgarh Congress suspended MLA R K Rai for his "anti-party" actvities.
The decision to suspend Rai, considered a supporter of Chhattisgarh Janata Congress Party chief Ajit Jogi, was taken by Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CPCC) at a meeting of its Coordination Committee in Raipur.
"With the unanimous decision of the members of Coordination Committee, Rai has been suspended from the party," AICC General Secretary in-charge of Chhattisgarh B K Hariprasad told reporters after the meeting.
The panel also recommended to the party's central disciplinary committee that the MLA from Gunderdehi be dismissed from Congress, he added. Hariprasad asserted Congress will fight the 2018 Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh under the leadership of the party's state chief Bhupesh Baghel and legislature party leader TS Singhdeo.
Meanwhile, Rai welcomed the decision and said the action was taken against him for speaking against Rahul. "I was told the action has been taken against me for making comments against Rahul Gandhi (in the past). I can't call a donkey a horse. If the party feels my observation is wrong then either it is blind or (is) acting like a blind person," a defiant Rai said in a statement.
"I am not at all sad with the move because I am a true and vocal tribal representative. I am free now," said the legislator, adding the decision has once again exposed the "anti-tribal" face of Congress.
Chhattisgarh Congress had issued a show cause notice to Rai last week for "anti-party" activities and publicly making statements against the party. The police officer-turned-politician is said to be a staunch supporter of Jogi, who floated his own party after quitting Congress in June this year.
Jogi had brought Rai into politics and helped him in getting a ticket from Gunderdehi seat in the 2013 Assembly polls.