All 11 BJP MLAs submit resignation14 April 2011
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU: Owing moral responsibility for cross voting in yesterday's Legislative Council elections, all 11 BJP MLAs today submitted their resignations to senior party leaders here tonight, who had been deputed here by the party high command on a fact finding mission. The resignations were submitted on the directions of party high command. The resignations which have been addressed to Speaker of the Assembly were handed over to BJP senior leader and Prabhari J&K OP Kohli during the core group meeting of the party here tonight. Mr Kohli, on his return to New Delhi will hand over resignations to BJP president Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi who will decide the further action against the party MLAs, BJP senior leader and 'Seh Prabhari' for J&K, R P Singh said. He said that owing moral responsibility for cross voting all MLAs submitted their resignation addressed to Speaker of the Assembly to the party leadership. He also confirmed that Prof Gupta, Ashok Khajuria, Jugal Kishore Sharma and Jagdish Raj Sapolia have submitted their resignation from the posts of Legislature Party leader, chief whip, deputy leader and whip respectively. He said the resignation letters would be handed over to Mr Gadkari at New Delhi tomorrow, who will decide the future course of action. BJP sources said that turning tough against the party MLAs, the high command sought resignation from all party MLAs for violating the party whip and creating indiscipline with seven of them indulging in cross-voting for National Conference and Congress candidates. The BJP high command has also decided to revamp its State unit to maintain discipline and send a tough message to those who indulge in indisciplinary activities in the party, sources added. The resignation was submitted by BJP MLAs in the Core Group meeting which among others was attended by BJP national general secretary J P Nadda, O P Kohli, R P Singh, party's State president Shamsher Singh Manhas, all 11 MLAs and general secretary, Sat Sharma. The sources said while Jugal Kishore Sharma and Ashok Khajuria had already submitted their resignation from the posts of Deputy Party leader and chief whip respectively, Prof Chaman Lal Gupta and Jagdish Raj Sapolia also submitted their resignation as leader of BJP Legislative Party and Party whip respectively. The sources said that Party senior leaders from Delhi apprised the MLAs of the displeasure of High Command for defying the Party whip and casting the votes in favour of Congress and NC candidates during the meeting which lasted for over three hours. And bowing to the party decision all MLAs submitted their resignation letters to senior party leadership during the meeting, sources added. It may be recalled that Party High Command soon after coming to know about the cross voting by seven Party MLAs in Legislative Council elections yesterday deputed Mr Kohli and R P Singh to Jammu on a fact finding mission and disciplinary action against the MLAs involved. However as it was not possible for the Party to identify the seven MLAs who defied the whip it sought the resignation of all 11 legislators to maintain discipline in its State unit of the BJP, sources said. Earlier during the day some MLAs and delegates of BJP activists from different parts of Jammu region met Mr Kohli and Mr Singh at Circuit House here. The delegates from Samba and Hiranagar while apprising the visiting national leaders about their total displeasure over the cross voting of seven legislators demanded stern action against them. They said that no indiscipline in the party should be tolerated in future. They said that the activists are working for strengthening the party in the State and the legislators have backstabbed them. The delegation from Hiranagar was totally critical of the Party MLAs for humiliating the official candidate by casting only four votes in his favour. 'This way they have made his position totally awkward. If they had not to vote in his favour why was he given the mandate and asked to fill up the form', one of the activists asked. Meanwhile the BJP activists including former corporators resorted to 72 hour chain hunger strike in front of party office here today in protest against the violation of Party whip by the seven MLAs and casting vote in favour of NC and Congress candidates. Termed it a betrayal they said the seven MLAs be identified and expelled from the Party. With pla- cards and banners the protesting BJP activists shouted slogans against the MLAs. They were joined by some senior party leaders including one ex MLA and ex Mayor JMC. Earlier Mr Kohli told Excelsior that the Party has taken serious exception to the cross voting by its MLAs and such type of indiscipline will not be tolerated as it has tarnished the image of BJP as a disciplined Party in the public. However he said that the senior Party leaders including him who were deputed to ascertain that who were the seven MLAs to cast vote in favour of Congress and NC candidate in yesterdays Legislative Council elections are meeting the cross section of the Party and will also hold a meeting of the Core Group of the State unit in the evening to take the decision. He said a detailed report will also be submitted to the Party High Command on our return to New Delhi tomorrow. The Party will take corrective measures so that such indiscipline is not repeated in future, he added. The BJP chief spokesperson and National Executive member, Dr Jitendra Singh also said that the High Command is firm on taking tough action against those who violated the Party whip. It may be recalled that seven BJP MLAs cast their votes in favour of NC and Congress candidates in Legislative Council elections yesterday by defying the Party whip which resulted in the humiliation of their official candidate Th. Ranjit Singh who only got four votes out of 11 which is the numerical strength of the Party in Assembly.