Jharkhand Congress president and finance minister Rameshwar Oraon on Friday expelled Santosh Pathak from the party for a period of six years.
The party which is a key alliance partner in the Hemant Soren led JMM-Congress-RJD government faced an embarrassing situation when Pathak along with his associates were arrested by Ranchi police and Excise and Prohibition department for illegally transporting huge quantities of liquor on September 18.
Pathak is the former State president of Sainika Prakostha (army cell) of the party. Police recovered 11 carton boxes packed with liquor besides three rifles and Rs 71,000 cash.
They were carrying consignment in a swanky SUV and they fixed the flag of the Congress and the JMM to avoid any police checking.
Pathak along with Sanjeet Kumar and Jitendra Kumar Rai were arrested after they were intercepted by the police and excise department officials at Daladali locality on the city outskirts.
Pathak has long been involved in the illegal trade of liquor and in the past he was once arrested by the police.
Sources in the party said that the party felt demoralised and embarrassed when the news surfaced,
“We can’t allow anybody to use party flags to carry any illegal activity and crime. Party has taken it very strongly.
We can’t patronize any criminal element,” said a leader of the party.