Srinagar, Aug 13: The Bharatiya Janata Party will take disciplinary action against its legislator Gagan Bhagat for publically going against the saffron party stand of scrapping Article 35A of the constitution, seniour leader Kavinder Gupta said Sunday.
Bhagat, the party’s lawmaker from RS Pura, was seen a widely shared video of him addressing a small meeting where he said he in favour of the special constitutional provision for Jammu and Kashmir to stay.
“Scrapping of Article 35 A was on our agenda,” senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister, Kavinder Gupta told Greater Kashmir.
“Bhagat is frustrated and action will be taken against him.”
Gupta said the MLA has made the biggest blunder by making a statement in which he has asked people of Jammu, where many are believed to be in favour of the Article being struck down, to discuss the issue and raise their voice in support of Article 35A.
“He has ridiculed the party. Such activities are intolerable,” he said.
“The party will act in the matter since it involves gross indiscipline.”
In a video the Bhagat is heard telling party workers that he supports Article 35A and its removal will adversely affect employment prospects of the youth of Jammu the most.
“Forget government jobs, one may not get a job even in the private sector, or land to construct a house,” Bhagat is heard saying in the video.
“The rich people from other states will buy all your land…. The price of land that is available at Rs 1 lakh per marla will rise to Rs 10 lakh per marla overnight.”
Gupta said the saffron party’s MLA from RS Pura, Bhagat was recently served a notice by the BJP disciplinary committee after his photographs with a woman student went viral.
“After his wife complained to the party against him on this, the committee recommended Bhagat’s suspension for three months and asked him to sort out the matter,” he said.
“If he failed, the committee recommended expulsion from the BJP.”
However, Bhagat has denied any relationship with the woman and claims that the photographs were morphed.
“We have served him another notice,” Gupta added.
“If rolling back of Article 35 A allows outsiders to settle down in J&K, why those people who are crying hoarse over it are not protesting over the settlement of Rohingya refugees in J&K, who seem to be rising in number each passing day,” said Altaf Thakur, BJP state spokesman.
“On one hand separatists demand Azadi from India but at the same time they show their belief in the Indian constitution by demanding Article 35A and Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that provide special status to J&K, should stay.”
The general secretary of the party’s state unit, Ashok Koul said that Bhagat should join Devinder Rana of National Conference or stop meddling in sensitive affairs like the BJP’s stance of the special constitutional provision.
“The case is sub-judice and we should wait for outcome,” Ashok Koul told Greater Kashmir.
“Supreme Court decision will be supreme.”
Koul also said that strict action will be taken against Bhagat.
“We are served notices and tough action will be taken against the MLA.”