BJP suspends 7 J&K MLAs for cross-voting

New Delhi: The BJP Parliamentary Board on 20 April suspended its seven MLAs in Jammu & Kashmir Assembly, including Leader of the Opposition and veteran party leader Chaman Lal Gupta, for defying party whip and voting for the ruling National Conference-Congress candidates in the recently held Legislative Council elections. BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar said Deputy Leader in the Assembly Jugal Kishore Sharma will now lead the remaining group of four MLAs. This way the BJP has managed to contain the rebellion brewing against state president Shamsher Singh Manhas, while not really throwing out the guilty MLAs. Under the rules, the suspended MLAs will continue to be governed by the party whip till expelled. After April 13 voting, Gupta had defiantly obtained the letters of resignation from all 11 MLAs, addressed directly to the Speaker, and handed them over to state in-charge OP Kohli. They were to be forwarded to the party high command for necessary action. Simultaneously, Manhas had served an ultimatum on the Central leadership to either accept their resignation or his. Apart from Chaman Lal Gupta, other suspended legislators are: Jagdish Sapolia, Master Lal Chand Prof Garu Ram, Baldevraj Sharma, Durga Das and Bharat Bhushan. Ananth Kumar said they have also been issued show-cause notices asking them why they should not be expelled from the party for six years. “The party has taken a very serious view of the cross voting by its MLAs in the legislative council elections.... After deliberating over the issue, the Board decided that action should be taken for this indiscipline.”
MG News Desk

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 May 2011 on page no. 9

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