Can BJP afford to expel Ram Jethmalani?
New Delhi: Adopting a tough stance against maverick lawyer and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani for his anti-part rumblings, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday may decide to expel him from the party.
Jethmalani has already been suspended from the party for daring the party top brass to act against him on the CBI chief's appointment issue – he had questioned the party’s opposition to the appointment of Ranjit Sinha as the next CBI director.
Jethmalani had opposed the letter written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, asking him to keep the CBI Director's appointment in abeyance.
Jethmalani had also cross swords with the party over Nitin Gadkari's continuation as the BJP chief. He had demanded Gadkari’s resignation in the wake of charges of dubious funding of his Purti Group.
Announcing Jethmalani’s suspension, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain had said, "The party chief has suspended Ram Jethmalani with immediate effect. The process of his suspension has been referred to the party's parliamentary board."
However, the BJP will find it difficult to expel Jethmalani given his stature as one of the brightest lawyers in the country, who has had many BJP heavyweights as his clients.
A meeting of the BJP parliamentary board has been convened today at 4.30 pm to take a call on Jethmalani’s expulsion.
"Jethmalani's remarks are meant to help the Congress," Hussain said adding that it was an act of "gross indiscipline".
With the parliamentary board meet today, it is being debated whether the party will also take strict action against party leaders like Yashwant Sinha and Shaturughan Sinha, who have backed Jethmalani, embarrassing the party further.