BJP suspends seven J&K MLAs for cross voting in council polls

In a stern action, BJP suspended its seven MLAs from Jammu and Kashmir for cross voting in the recent Legislative Council polls and issued them show cause notices as to why they should not be expelled from the party for six years.

Updated: Apr 20, 2011, 22:36 PM IST

New Delhi: In a stern action, BJP on Wednesday suspended its seven MLAs from Jammu and Kashmir for cross
voting in the recent Legislative Council polls and issued them
show cause notices as to why they should not be expelled from
the party for six years.

BJP Parliamentary Board met here today under the
leadership of party president Nitin Gadkari to discuss what
action should be taken against seven of the 11 MLAs from Jammu
and Kashmir.
The seven suspended MLAs include BJP legislature party
leader Chaman Lal Gupta, who is a party old-timer. Others are
Jagdish Sapolia, Master Lal Chand, Gharu Ram, Baldev Raj
Sharma, Durga Das and Bharat Bhushan.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Parliamentary
Board secretary Ananth Kumar said, "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."
He insisted that the party had suspended these MLAs
forthwith and further action is pending against them.

"The party is issuing a show cause notice as to why they
should not be expelled from the party for six years. They have
to reply within a week," Kumar said.

Jugal Kishore Sharma, who was Deputy Legislature Party
leader, has been appointed as Acting Leader of the BJP
Legislature Party.

This decision was taken on the basis of a report filed
by BJP Jammu and Kashmir in-charge O P Kohli, co-incharge R P
Singh and general secretary J P Nadda.

The preliminary report submitted by them "clearly
indicated" that these seven MLAs had cross-voted.

Party sources said the phone records of these MLAs were
also checked which further proved the charges.

Gadkari had held a meeting individually with all the 11
MLAs yesterday evening. Later, another round of meetings was
held in which all the 11 legislators were present.

Asked about the basis on which the party reached the
conclusion that these were the seven who had voted against the
party in the secret ballot, Kumar said, "The Parliamentary
Board had only one point of discussion that there was a
decided candidate and whip was issued to vote for the official
candidate."

The Central leadership also found that as Legislature
party chief, Chamanlal Gupta had failed to accomplish this
task as he is himself one of the rebels.

The cross voting by these MLAs came to light when BJP`s
candidate for the Upper House Ranjit Singh got only four votes
in the April 13 polls.

PTI