BJP expels eight MPs for cross-voting and abstentions

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New Delhi, Jul 23 (UNI) Taking a serious note of defying the party's whip in yesterday's confidence vote in the Lok Sabha, the BJP today expelled eight of its MPs from the party with immediate effect.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of BJP office bearers held at the residence of Leader of the Opposition L K Advani here this morning, BJP president Rajnath Singh said.

The MPs who stand expelled are Mr Brajbhushan Sharan Singh (UP), Mr Somabhai Patel and Mr Babubhai Katara (Gujarat), Mr Manjunath Kunnur, Mr H T Sangliana and Mrs Manorama Madhwaraj (Karnataka), Mr Chandrabhan Singh (MP) and Mr Haribhau Rathod (Maharashtra). These MPs had either cross voted or abstained or remained absent during the voting allowing the UPA a free run.

However, the party has taken a lenient view in the case of Mr D C Srikantappa who could not attend yesterday's session because of a serious health condition. He was one of those exempted to attend the session but was asked to come to voting directly.

Four unwell MPs including former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had exercised their franchise from the Lok Sabha lobby.

Addressing the press conference Mr L K Advani said the events that had taken place had saddened him immensely. ''The UPA government commenced its innings with the induction of tainted Ministers and was set to sign off the term with a tainted victory,'' Mr Advani said.

He said the events had also sullied India's image as a vibrant democracy in the world because the last one week had shown how people had manipulated the system through the influence of money and muscle power.

Mr Singh also announced that the party had planned massive protests across the country to educate the people about corrupt practices employed by the UPA government from tomorrow and would organise rallies in state capitals on July 27.


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