M A I N   N E W S

NC, Cong win LC poll as expelled BJP MLAs stay away
Dinesh Manhotra
Tribune News Service

Jammu, March 7
Coalition candidates had a smooth sailing in the Legislative Council election as seven expelled BJP MLAs boycotted the poll held today. The infighting in the BJP is likely to get murkier now as the official group of the party, comprising four MLAs, has decided to approach Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Mubark Gul again, seeking disqualifications of these MLAs from the House.

The BJP had issued directions to all its MLAs to vote in favour of Independent candidate Shuban Krishen Dudha, but the seven expelled MLAs, who still claim themselves to be BJP members, violated the party whip.

The loyalist faction of the party has brought the matter to the notice of the BJP high command so as to aggressively pursue the case for the disqualification these seven legislators.

“On the one hand these MLAs are claiming themselves to be members of the BJP, on the other hand they have violated the party whip,” said a senior BJP leader. The development has given a stronger reason to the party to pursue the case for their disqualification. Had these seven dissident BJP legislators cast their votes in favour of Doudha, who got nine votes, he would have easily won, he added.

The seven MLAs were expelled from the BJP after they cross-voted for National Conference and Congress candidates in the Legislative Council elections held on April 13, 2011. Despite their expulsion from the party, these MLAs continue to claim that they are still members of the BJP. According to Returning Officer Mohammad Ramzan, Syed Naeem Akhtar Andrabi of the PDP; Showkat Hussain Ganie and Abdul Majeed of the National Conference; and Mohammad Muzaffar Parrey of the Congress were today declared elected to the Legislative Council from Kashmir Valley quota. Naresh Kumar Gupta of the Indian National Congress was declared elected from Doda district quota).

Candidates to three Jammu seats had been already declared elected unopposed. They include Devinder Singh Rana of the National Conference, Rani Gargi Bloeria of the Congress and Yashpal Sharma of the PDP. Besides, seven dissident BJP legislators, four other MLAs, namely MY Tarigami of the CPM, Hakim Yasin of the Peoples Democratic Forum (PDF), Ashwani Sharma of the Jammu State Morcha and Engineer Abdul Rashid, Independent, also boycotted the election. 





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