The CPM Monday suspended party MLA Balwan Poonia for one year over “indiscipline” for voting for a Congress candidate in the recently held Rajya Sabha polls.
The decision came during a State Secretariat meeting at the CPM’s office in Jaipur Monday. “We had called a meeting to discuss the MLA’s indiscipline in Rajya Sabha polls. We found him guilty of going against the party and suspended him for a year, effective immediately,” said CPM State Secretary Amraram.
Poonia, MLA from Bhadra in Hanumangarh district, has also been given a showcause notice seeking his response within seven days.
“He went against the party’s decision and voted for Congress. Party had decided not to vote for anyone. BJP’s second candidate was losing as he needed over 20 additional votes and Congress had about those many extra votes,” Amraram told The Indian Express.
CPM’s second MLA, Girdharilal, did not vote as he was reportedly unwell. “Party isn’t run by MLAs, it is run by its members. And everyone, including public representatives and party members, have to follow party discipline,” Amraram said.
Each candidate’s election required 51 first preference votes. Congress candidate K C Venugopal received 64 votes while Neeraj Dangi received 59. BJP’s Rajendra Gehlot received 54 first preference votes while Onkar Singh Lakhawat received only 20 votes.