The Congress on Saturday expelled senior party leader Acharya Pramod Krishnam for a period of six years for indiscipline and repeatedly making statements criticising the party, reported PTI.

Krishnam, who contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Lucknow on a Congress ticket but lost to Union Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh, had recently praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for presiding over the consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, while criticising his former party’s leadership for skipping the event. Krishnam attended the ceremony.

Krishnam also met Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath earlier this month and invited them to the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Shri Kalki Dham in Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal on February 19, reported the Hindustan Times.

Responding to his suspension, Krishnam took to social media platform X (formerly Twitter), saying, “There can be no compromise on Ram and the nation.”

“There is no bar on attending the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla, so being there is not a crime,” Krishnam had told the Hindustan Times on Wednesday. “Similarly, there is no restriction on meeting prime minister Narendra Modi or chief minister Yogi Adityanath. However, if the Congress feels that I have committed a crime, I am ready to accept any punishment.”

“In view of complaints about indiscipline and repeatedly making statements against the party, Congress president has approved the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee’s proposal to expel Shri Pramod Krishnam for six years with immediate effect,” said a statement issued on Saturday by Congress general secretary KC Venugopal.

In an interview to ANI on Tuesday, Krishnam had disparaged the Opposition INDIA bloc that has been formed to take on the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, and which the Congress is a part of.

“I think there is no such thing as INDIA alliance,” Krishnam said. “When INDIA alliance was created, it immediately contracted a lot of diseases right after its birth. Then it went to the ICU and ventilator. Nitish Kumar performed its last rites,” he added, referring to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s recent exit from the INDIA bloc in favour of an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Krishnam has previously served on the Congress’ Uttar Pradesh advisory council that was formed to assist Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in her earlier role as the party’s head in the state.