BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir disciplinary committee on Thursday recommended the party high command to suspend R S Pura MLA Gagan Bhagat for three months, following a controversy over circulation of some photographs showing him in “obscene positions” with a young woman from his constituency.
While the parents of the woman — a college student — had accused the MLA of abducting their daughter, his wife Monika Sharma complained to the party that he had married her. The MLA and the woman denied the charge, saying that the photographs were morphed.
Recommending his “immediate suspension” for three months, a three-member disciplinary committee in its report suggested that the MLA be directed to settle all disputes with all concerned people during the suspension period. If he fails to do so, he should be be expelled from the party, the committee suggested.
The decision to suspend him will send a message to all party members that indiscipline will not be tolerated, and that they will have to keep their public image clean, the committee observed.
Bhagat and his wife had separately appeared before the committee to tell their side of the story. Supporting her charge that the MLA had married the woman, the MLA’s wife had submitted evidence in the form of documents, photographs and videos.
The woman’s family members and relatives, including her grandfather, an ex-serviceman, had protested outside the BJP headquarters, seeking action against the MLA.
Last month, the woman’s father who is a soldier, had lodged a complaint against Bhagat with the police accusing him of abducting his daughter.
Bhagat had accused his wife and the woman’s family of trying to damage his political image at the behest of his opponents. “There is already a divorce suit between me and my wife pending in the court,” he had said.