BJP suspends Rajasthan MLA for cross-voting in Rajya Sabha polls

Shobharani Kushwah said she was guided by “voice of conscience”

June 11, 2022 03:51 pm | Updated 10:52 pm IST - JAIPUR:

Rajasthan MLA Shobharani Kushwah.

Rajasthan MLA Shobharani Kushwah. | Photo Credit: Twitter: @ShobhaRaniBL

The BJP on Saturday suspended its Rajasthan MLA Shobharani Kushwah for cross-voting in favour of Congress candidate Pramod Tiwari in the Rajya Sabha elections for four seats from the State. Ms. Kushwah sprang a surprise by her act, which she said was guided by her “voice of conscience”.

The BJP’s central disciplinary committee issued a notice to Ms. Kushwah, elected from Dholpur constituency in the 2018 Assembly election, asking her to show cause why she should not be expelled from the party’s primary membership. Ms. Kushwah was informed that she had been suspended from the BJP’s membership as well as all other responsibilities until an inquiry was completed.

The show cause notice, signed by central disciplinary committee’s member secretary Om Pathak, stated that Ms. Kushwah displayed “gross indiscipline” by defying the party whip and violated Rule 10-B of Article 25 of the BJP’s constitution and rules. The MLA was given seven days’ time to explain her conduct.

The BJP had fielded former Minister Ghanshyam Tiwari as its official candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls and extended support to media baron Subhash Chandra, who contested as an Independent. Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria and BJP State president Satish Poonia recommended action against Ms. Kushwah after she cross-voted.

A second-term MLA, Ms. Kushwah is the wife of former Bahujan Samaj Party MLA B.L. Kushwah, who is serving life imprisonment following his conviction in 2016 in a case of murder of a student leader. Ms. Kushwah’s cross-voting was being linked in political circles in Jaipur to her husband’s imprisonment, even as she said after the polling that it was her own decision.

After Mr. Kushwah’s disqualification from the membership of the State Assembly, the BJP had fielded Ms. Kushwah as its candidate in the by-election from Dholpur in early 2017, which she won. She was again fielded by the BJP from the same seat in the 2018 Assembly election and she went on win to once again.

Dholpur is also the home turf of former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, as she was married to Hemant Singh of the town’s erstwhile ruling family.

The case of 2012, in which Mr. Kushwah was convicted and punished, pertained to an “honour killing”. He was charged with getting a youth, Naresh Kushwah, murdered through a contract killer because he suspected him to be in a relationship with his sister. Sharpshooter Satyendra Singh of Uttar Pradesh was also handed down life term in the case.

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