Scandal forces Janata Party to dissolve its J and K unit

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New Delhi, Nov 5 (UNI) Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy today announced the dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir unit of the party with immediate effect in the light of a sting operation that allegedly exposed Party state President "commercialising the process of selecting candidates" for the ensuing assembly elections.

"The dissolution has become necessary after a media sting operation which reported that State President Som Nath Dabgotra had unauthorisedly made an appeal in the name of the Party's Working President Vijay Mallya calling for applications from thsoe wanting to be candidates of the Party in the assembly elections," he said in a statement issued here.

Quoting newspaper reports, Dr Swamy said Mr Dabgotra had informed the media representatives posing as candidates that if they gave Rs five lakhs for a ticket, he would ensure that they would get Rs 25 lakhs worth of campaign support, a car, security cover from the government and even a house.

"Upon inquiry from him, he failed to contradict the reports," he said.

"Such a gross commercialisation of the process of selecting candidates is unacceptable to the Janata Party. Even if the Party has undergone a decline in voter support and has become small, those of us who are founder members and had fought against the State of Emergency declared by Indira Gandhi, are still committed to the values on which Jayaprakash Narayan had founded the Party." Dr Swamy said he dissolved the party unit in Jammu and Kashmir even at the cost of a possible electoral success because commercialisation was unacceptable to the party.

He said Party General Secretary Jagdish Shetty has been authorised to select candidates, if any, from those who were genuine and had been part of the party for some time.

UNI SH RR DS1437

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