BJP asks Madhya Pradesh legislator to explain conduct

December 21st, 2008 - 12:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyBhopal, Dec 21 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Madhya Pradesh unit has asked newly elected legislator Sartaj Singh to explain his conduct and suspended seven party workers said to be his followers, party officials said Sunday. The party took the decisions late Saturday following aggressive protests by Sartaj Singh’s followers at the party’s state office against denial of a berth to him in the cabinet of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The BJP has asked the legislator why disciplinary action should not be taken against him as the demonstrators who were said to be his followers used abusive language against the party office-bearers and breached party discipline, state BJP unit’s secretary Rameshwar Sharma said.

Hundreds of the legislator’s supporters barged into the office Saturday shouting slogans against the party’s state leadership and the chief minister.

Some of them even brandished shoes and said that the Chouhan government would not last long if their leader was not inducted in the ministry. A few demonstrators beat a picture of former chief minister Sunderlal Patwa with their shoes.

Sartaj Singh, who had defeated central minister Arjun Singh from the Hoshangabad Lok Sabha constituency in 2004 general elections, had resigned from Parliament and contested from the Sivni Malwa constituency in last month’s assembly elections. He won with a margin of over 25,000 votes.

“He defeated senior Congress leader and seven-time legislator Hajarilal Raghuvanshi and, therefore, he deserved a berth in the cabinet,” said one of his supporters.

Sartaj Singh was not present at the office during the protest. BJP state unit’s vice president Brijendra Sisodia tried to pacify them but to no avail. The situation was only brought under control when Sartaj Singh, accompanied by state party president Narendra Singh Tomar, reached the party office and appealed to them to disperse.

Meanwhile, Sartaj Singh is learnt to have left for Delhi to meet senior party leaders, including L.K. Advani and party president Rajnath Singh, and explain his position.

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