New Delhi: In a surprising move, the BJP on Sunday suspended senior leader and Rajya Sabha member Ram Jethmalani from the party using power vested under Article 25 of BJP's constitution. Since Jethmalani is an MP, only the Parliamentary board can expel him which would meet on Monday to decide the fate of the party member. Jethmalani had challenged the party leadership to take action against him for his stand on the appointment of the new CBI director and party president Nitin Gadkari.
"Jethmalani's remarks amount to indiscipline and will only help Congress," said BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain. Meanwhile, BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha, too, are also under the party scanner for their anti-Gadkari remarks.
Jethmalani had earlier in the openly dared the BJP and said that nobody in the party has the courage to act against him. The 86-year-old veteran lawyer had recently demanded BJP president Nitin Gadkari's resignation in the wake of charges of alleged dubious funding of the latter's Purti Group, said many in the party shared his views, but few had the capacity to express their views openly.
Jethmalani had said, "If there is any action taken against me, I will welcome it but I don't think anyone has the guts to take any action against me. I have expressed my views, glad there are four-five people who have supported me. There are more, but they aren't in the capacity to publicly support me."
Sources said that the party is likely to decide on action against Jethmalani at the Parliamentary Board meeting on Monday at 4:30 pm. The action could be expulsion from the party itself. This even as the anti-Gadkari camp grew more defiant with party leaders Shatrughan Sinha backing Jathmalani and Yashwant Sinha's demand for resignation of Gadkari.
The advocate-politician, who has embarrassed BJP earlier by openly demanding Gadkari's resignation, again put the party in discomfiture when he attacked Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Sushma Sinha and Arun Jaitley for criticising the appointment of new CBI Director Ranjit Sinha and said the government's decision has "averted national calamity".