BJP to take final decision on Jethmalani today?



Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s parliamentary board, which has suspended Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani from party’s primary membership and issued a showcause notice, will meet on Tuesday morning to discuss the future steps to be taken against dissident leaders like Jethmalani, Shatrughan Sinha and Yashwant Sinha.

All three have said they do not support party president Nitin Gadkari any longer in the wake of the latter battling serious corruption charges. Jethmalani and Yashwant Sinha have in fact demanded that Gadkari should quit the top party post.

Supreme Court lawyer Jethmalani, who has embarrassed the BJP time and again, most recently on the issue of appointment of senior IPS officer Ranjit Sinha as the new CBI director, was suspended from the party on Sunday and is likely to be expelled soon. Shatrughan Sinha had said that he was ideologically with Jethmalani and Yashwant on the issue of Gadkari.

Speaking to a news channel yesterday, Jethmalani had said that he would respond to the showcause notice only it merits a response, else he will throw it in his waste paper basket.

In its showcause notice, the BJP had yesterday asked Jethmalani to explain why he should not be expelled from the party for six years.

"The parliamentary board discussed the anti-party actions of Mr Ram Jethmalani. The parliamentary party found appropriate the decision of party president Nitin Gadkari to suspend Jethmalani for his indiscipline and anti-party activities," BJP leader Ananth Kumar told reporters after a meeting of the party's parliamentary board yesterday.

"We have also sent him a showcause notice to tell why he should not be expelled from the party for six years," he said.

Ananth Kumar said the issue of the statements made by Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha against Gadkari did not come up for discussion at the meeting.

Party sources said a reason for Jethmalani being given time to explain his statements could be his role in handling matters of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi concerning the 2002 riots.

Jethmalani, who was the first leader to publicly seek Gadkari's resignation for the controversy related to alleged financial wrongdoings of a company linked to him, last Saturday took pot shots at party leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley over their letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking appointment of new director of CBI through a collegium.

Jethmalani has written letters to Gadkari and party leader LK Advani over the past few weeks stoking controversies. He wrote another letter to Gadkari on Monday but did not disclose the contents.

Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha and party national executive member Jagdish Shettigar besides Ram Jethmalani's son Mahesh have also sought Gadkari's resignation.

Gadkari, who became BJP president in December 2009, is facing probe over alleged financial wrongdoings of investor companies in Purti Group, linked to him.

(With IANS inputs)