Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Electoral Officer, Shailendra Kumar, has ordered the disqualification of four of the 20 councillors in Kathua Municipal Council after they defected from the Congress to the BJP.
Naresh Kumar, Rekha Kumari, Ajay Kumar, and Renu Bala joined the saffron party in presence of state BJP president Ravinder Raina. Naresh Kumar was even elected president of the Kathua Municipal Council.
After the CEO’s move, the strength of the Municipal Council has been reduced to 16. Pointing out that the respondents have given up membership of their original political party (Congress), the CEO observed that they have failed to produce any records to show that any meeting was convened or any resolution has been passed or any notice/representation has been made to the election authority or District Election Officer, Kathua, to inform about the formation of a separate group.
When contacted, Naresh Kumar said the four will challenge the CEO’s disqualification order in the High Court. Raina did not respond to repeated phone calls.