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BJP to suspend Chamanlal Gupta, 6 J&K MLAs for cross-voting

Neena Vyas

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party's top decision-making body, its Parliamentary Board, on Wednesday decided to suspend its Legislature Party leader in Jammu and Kashmir, Chamanlal Gupta, and six other MLAs for cross-voting in the recent Legislative Council election.

They will be issued notice asking why they should not be expelled from the party for six years for having defied a whip asking them to vote for the party candidate Thakur Ranjit Singh, who polled only four votes though the party strength in the Legislature is 11. They have been asked to respond to the show-cause within a week, general secretary Ananth Kumar told journalists after a heated discussion at the Board meeting that lasted over two hours.

It was clear from the party action that Mr. Gupta, who has now been replaced by Jugal Kishore Sharma as the Legislature Party leader, was the leader of the revolt. Party leaders pointed out that Mr. Gupta is an old Jan Sangh hand who has been with the party since the earliest times and was also an RSS man.

The others against whom the party cracked the whip are Jagdish Sapolia, Master Lal Chand, Garu Ram, Baldevraj Sharma, Durga Das and Bharat Bhushan.

After the display of open rebellion, BJP president Nitin Gadkari asked a team of leaders headed by Jammu and Kashmir in-charge O.P. Kohli to inquire into the sordid affair in which, many party leaders believe, the BJP legislators sold their votes to the Congress and/or National Conference candidates.

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