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BJP's rebel J&K MLA's to form grouping

india Updated: May 21, 2011 13:09 IST

Seven Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators who were suspended for cross-voting during the legislative council elections in Jammu and Kashmir are likely to form a separate group, sources close to them said on Saturday.

Six of the seven lawmakers did not appear before the party's disciplinary committee in New Delhi on Friday.

"Why should we have appeared before the disciplinary panel, what crime have we committed?" BJP legislature party leader Chaman Lal Gupta asked in a letter to the disciplinary panel.

The letter was made public on Friday evening.

The party, which is part of the opposition in the state, had called all the 11 legislators of the party in the state - four of whom were exonerated and seven who were suspended and issued show cause notice - to New Delhi to deliberate on the issue.

The seven BJP legislators had cross-voted in the legislative council elections April 13, with the party candidate getting only four votes. The BJP found that seven of its votes had gone to the ruling National Conference and Congress rival. They were suspended April 20.

The suspended legislators have gone to town accusing the party leadership of being casteist and hatching a conspiracy against them to decimate the party.

Four party legislators, including the chief whip Ashok Khajuria and deputy legislature party leader Jugal Kishore Sharma, appeared before the disciplinary panel on Friday.