Monday, November 29, 1999

BJP suspends three MLAs for cross voting in RS polls

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New Delhi, Jun 18 (PTI) BJP President Nitin Gadkari today suspended three party MLAs from various states for cross voting in the just-concluded Rajya Sabha polls. Banwari Ram (Bihar), Bhimsen Chaudhary (Orissa) and Ram Chandra (Jharkhand) were suspended for not casting their vote in favour of the BJP candidate or abstaining in the biennial polls yesterday. The votes of two BJP MLAs in Rajasthan were cancelled. "The party unit in Rajasthan is investigating the matter to find out why the two BJP votes were cancelled or rejected. Once the facts are ascertained action will be taken," party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said. Several BJP MLAs were said to be opposed to the candidature of Ram Jethmalani from their party. With the polls being a close call due to a thin majority, BJP leadership had put up its MLAs in a resort on the outskirts of Jaipur. Though Jethmalani sailed through, the cancellation of votes of two MLAs has come as a surprise for the BJP top brass. Party sources said the situation was salvaged as three CPM MLAs abstained bringing down the majority mark. BJP General Secretary Ananth Kumar has conveyed Gadkari''s decision to suspend these MLAs to the respective state units. PTI RC.

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