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NC expels 8 leaders for opposing poll boycott call

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VIRTUALLY FACED with a revolt from party workers for the decision to boycott civic body elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the National Conference (NC) on Wednesday expelled eight party leaders, including one who was said to be the party’s provincial vice-president, for filing nomination papers for various municipal wards in Jammu going to the polls from October 8.

NC spokesperson Madan Mantoo identified those expelled for “anti-party activities’’ as Ayub Malik, Ashwani Charak, Kuldeep Gai, Ashok Singh Manhas, S Sucha Singh, Subash Bhagat, Rekha Manhas, and Manohar Lal Bhagat.

“They have willfully violated the party decision of non-participation in civic body polls,’’ he said.

All these leaders had filed nomination papers for municipal polls across Jammu region as Independents. Ayub Malik was the Jammu provincial vice-president of the National Conference, it is learnt.

The expulsions came two days after NC state spokesperson Junaid Mattu quit the party in protest against the decision to boycott the local body elections. The decision appears to be aimed at sending a tough message to all NC leaders deciding against the party’s boycott decision, and also to stem rumours about the party fielding proxy candidates.