Former union minister and veteran leader Chaman Lal Gupta has suspected a “big conspiracy” in his expulsion from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying the party high command must take cognizance of it.
The expelled leader is also contemplating “legal procedure” in the wake of his “forcible expulsion” from the party.
He had served as union minister of state for defence and civil aviation in NDA government headed by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee from 2002 to 2004.
The BJP Parliamentary Board met on Tuesday evening and decided to expel Gupta from the party’s primary membership for six years. It took serious note of Gupta’s act of issuing disqualification notices to four MLAs, whom the party had given ‘clean chit’ in cross voting scam.
The party leadership earlier suspended seven legislators, including Chaman Lal Gupta for cross-voting during the legislative council elections April 13. Gupta was the leader of legislature party.
“A big conspiracy was hatched against me within the party. The party high command must realize that I am the architect of the party in Jammu and Kashmir and have strengthened it all along. I attained respectable position in the party because of hard work and dedication,” he told Hindustan Times.
He also dismissed the speculations that he may create separate political group, saying “If somebody expects that I would work against the party or do harm to it, it will be totally wrong. It is only because of BJP that nationalism is alive in Jammu and Kashmir and I nurtured this party all along.”
Gupta and six other MLAs were accused of casting their votes in favour of the ruling National Conference-Congress candidates in the council elections, ignoring the party whip. The BJP candidate polled only four votes, though the party strength in the legislative assembly was 11.
“They (high command) served the show cause notice for cross voting while they expelled me for anti-party activities, two are different things,” he remarked.
The party did not take any action against six other legislators who were also charged with cross-voting and suspended from the party.
Jagdish Raj Sapolia, a suspended MLA who owns allegiance to Gupta told HT, “Even after the expulsion of Chaman Lal Gupta, they are still in “majority” in legislative assembly.”
“We are still six people and are in majority. We will sit again and deliberate on the next course of action. We are waiting for an official notice to Gupta as he has yet to receive it,” he said, adding “If they (party) could expel a member who served it throughout his life, their intentions are not clear.”