J&K: BJP expels leader who filed petition in SC against J&K House dissolution, backed Article 35A

The BJP on Monday expelled its dissident leader and former MLA Gagan Bhagat hours after Supreme Court dismissed his petition against the dissolution of Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly by governor Satya Pal Malik, 

The party said it expelled him for his “anti-party and anti-Jammu activities”.

“Taking note of the report of disciplinary committee of state BJP on issue of indiscipline and immorality of Gagan Bhagat former MLA, which was submitted to the party president of state unit on 19th July 2018 and in view of his continued anti party and anti-Jammu activity, party’s state president Ravindra Raina expelled Gagan Bhagat from the party with immediate effect,” said Sunil Sethi, the party’s chief spokesperson and head of the disciplinary committee in a statement.

Bhagat had filed the petition in DC in defiance of his party but SC junked it in the first hearing itself. 

“We are not inclined to interfere (with the decision of the Governor),” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul said.

The J&K Assembly was in suspended animation for the five months before the Governor Malik swiftly dissolved it on November 21 after the PDP and the People’s Conference separately staked claim to form the government.

Though the PDP decided against filing an appeal in the SC against the dissolution, the Bhagat did. 

However, filing petition in the SC is not the only reason the BJP is upset with Baghat. Earlier, Bhagat had publicly defended Article 35A in defiance of the party. The article which is currently being  challenged in the SC  enables the state government to define the state subject laws and forbids the outsiders from settling in the state.

“If Article 35A is tinkered with, the day will not be far when the youth of Jammu will also pick up guns and stones. The BJP is selling dreams and wants to sacrifice the interests of Jammu to achieve its goal of 300 plus seats) in the upcoming parliamentary elections,” Bhagat had said at the time