IN BRIEF: Congress expels Rao rival

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The Independent Online
New Delhi - India's ruling Congress party expelled Arjun Singh, a former cabinet minister and leading rival of the Prime Minister, PV Narasimha Rao, in an effort to close ranks ahead of crucial state polls beginning this week.

"The committee has taken a decision to remove Arjun Singh from the primary membership of the party for six years,"

K Vijay Bhaskar Reddy, head of the party's disciplinary action committee, said. Mr Singh, the former deputy leader of Congress, had become a focus for dissent in the party but his support remains patchy and he was unable to block expulsion at the hands of a committee dominated by Rao supporters