New Delhi: Senior BJP leader and noted lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani resigned from the national executive council (NEC) of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday to register his protest against the continuation of Nitin Gadkari as party president.
Jethmalani wrote a letter to Gadkari in which he said that he deemed it as morally and intellectually inappropriate to continue in the NEC as long as Gadkari remains BJP president.
Gadkari has been under attack for alleged financial impropriety in business dealings in connection with his Purti Group. Gadkari has denied all charges and the party had appeared to back him but with Mahesh Jethmalani spearheading the attack on him, the situation seems to have turned for the worse for Gadkari.
Importantly, the BJP has been quick to respond to Mahesh Jethmalani’s letter with the party making it clear that it is not appropriate to comment on a matter that is under probe.
Gadkari triggered another controversy after he compared the intelligence quotient (IQ) level of Swami Vivekananda to that of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim. He has later denied the same and claimed that he was misquoted.
Mahesh is the son of maverick lawyer Ram Jethmalani. Jethmalani senior too, had earlier, demanded Gadkari`s resignation.
“In the interest of the party, in his own interest, he should get out of the fray now and he must give the position to somebody who inspires greater confidence. He should not aspire for a second term,” Ram Jethmalani said.
Jethmalani, who last week favoured declaration of Narendra Modi as a prime ministerial candidate in the next elections, said Gadkari`s continuance weakens the party`s position.
“Obviously, there is suspicion about his integrity and in the interest of the party and his own interest he must get out of this position.
“It weakens the party position. In the coming elections we are fighting against corruption and we have to have a man of absolute impeccable integrity,” he said at an interview when asked whether Gadkari should step down.