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Opposition parties expel twelve MPs

Opposition parties also petition the Lok Sabha Speaker to initiate action to disqualify them under the anti-defection law, reports Shekhar Iyer.

india Updated: Jul 24, 2008 01:55 IST
Shekhar Iyer

Opposition parties on Wednesday expelled their MPs who defied party whip to help the UPA government win the trust vote, and petitioned the Lok Sabha Speaker to initiate action to disqualify them under the anti-defection law.

Smarting under humiliation by the sheer number of its MPs who switched sides, the BJP expelled eight MPs; four of them had voted for the government and four others had abstained. Karnataka MPs HT Sangliana and Manjunath Kunnoor, Gujarat MP Somabhai Patel and Uttar Pradesh MP Brijbhushan Sharan were axed for cross voting. Another lot of BJP MPs — Chandrabhan Singh (Madhya Pradesh), Manorama Madhavraj (Karnataka), Haribhav Rathore (Maharashtra) and Babubhai Katara (Gujarat) — were shown the door for abstaining.

Deve Gowda’s JD(S) expelled its MP Shivanna, the Shiv Sena expelled Tukaram Renge Patil and TDP axed M Jagannatham. BJD was the first to expel its MP, Harihar Swain. Apart from these 12, against whom their parties have already taken action, JD(U) MP Ram Swaroop Prasad is also likely to be expelled soon. This is the second time so many MPs have been expelled by their parties at one go. Ten MPs had faced action after the “cash for question” scam in 2006.

"But for cross-voting and abstentions, the UPA would not have won. This government was formed with the help of tainted people... This is a tainted victory," Leader of Opposition LK Advani said. BJP chief Rajnath Singh said the party MPs defied the whip only because of money. He announced protests from Thursday against "the bribes the ruling side paid to defect the MPs in the voting".

In the other camp, it was not clear if the SP would expel its six rebel MPs.