New Delhi: Spelling more trouble for BJP’s embattled president Nitin Gadkari, senior party leader Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday demanded his resignation, saying those in public life should be beyond reproach.
"Whether our party president is guilty or not is not the issue today. The issue is that all of us in public life should be beyond reproach...I call upon Shri Nitin Gadkari, with all the humility at my command, to immediately step down from the post of party president," he said.
Interestingly, Sinha made the demand after being with Gadkari at a 90-minute meeting of the Parliamentary Party's Executive Committee at the residence of L K Advani in the morning.
Sinha's demand brings alive once again the campaign initiated by BJP Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani and his son Mahesh for the party chief's resignation in the wake of reports of alleged dubious financing of Purti Sugar and Power Group.
The campaign against Gadkari had appeared to take a backseat after the party backed him in the wake of a clean chit given by RSS ideologue and chartered accountant S Gurumurthy, who had gone into the balance sheet and accounts of the Purti group.
But its revival may have come at an inappropriate time when the party plans to corner the government on various issues, including alleged scams, in the winter session of Parliament beginning Thursday.
Just two weeks back, BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP and noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani and Jagdish Shettar made similar demands, saying Gadkari should voluntarily quit as the BJP chief and wait till his name is cleared of corruption charges levelled against him.
Yashwant Sinha is the third senior-most leader to have asked for Gadkari’s exit, thus building pressure on the BJP central leadership and its parent organisation -the RSS - to take a call on him.
Gadkari landed in troubled waters after he was accused of improper business dealings and serious allegations of financial impropriety were levelled against his firm Purity Power and Sugar Pvt Limited.
However, he has categorically denied all charges against him, saying he has done nothing wrong.
Meanwhile, reacting to the controversial statement made by Yashwant Sinha, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Sinha's opinion was own.
"The party would appeal to him to reconsider his stand," Ravi Shankar Prasad further said.
First Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 16:41