New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Nitin Gadkari has suspended Ram Jethmalani with immediate effect using his power vested under Article 25 of BJP's constitution. The BJP's parliamentary board will decide on Monday on whether or not to expel him. It also remains to be seen whether there will be action against other dissident voices like Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha.
"I will welcome any inquiry but I don't think anyone is brave enough to do that." This comment by a defiant Ram Jethmalani proved to be the proverbial last straw. Within hours, the BJP decided to suspend the veteran lawyer.
Jethmalani's tirade against the party leadership started with he and his son Mahesh seeking party president Nitin Gadkari's resignation over the Purti controversy. Other senior party MPs like Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha followed suit.
Jethmalani then went on to question the two leaders of opposition Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley who wanted the appointment of the new CBI director be kept in abeyance in the wake of the Lokpal recommendations by the Rajya Sabha select committee. The anti-Gadkari camp supported Jethmalani on the issue. "Without a doubt, his appointment was conducted in a fair and transparent manner," Shatrughan Sinha said.
With the BJP Parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday, there was apprehension that the forum could be used again by the dissident group to attack the party leadership, especially Gadkari. So the party decided to act and act fast to send a strong message to the dissidents and their organisers.