New Delhi: The row between NRI businessman Anshuman Mishra and the BJP turned uglier on Monday with veteran party leader Arun Jaitley serving a defamation notice against him, over his allegations that the Rajya Sabha Opposition leader had sought favours from him, including watching a cricket match at Lord's in a privileged seating.
Jaitley has denied accepting any such favours.
Mishra had on Sunday alleged that he introduced Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi to senior executives of 2G scam accused companies when the panel was probing the 2G spectrum case.
The war between the UK-based businessman and the BJP could create a storm in Parliament on Monday.
Mishra had also said that Joshi called him seeking funds for elections. Mishra further claimed to have played a role in Joshi's poll campaign in 2004 and 2009.
The BJP, meanwhile, rubbished the allegations, calling them "baseless" and "fabricated".
BJP President Nitin Gadkari hit out at Mishra terming his allegations as nothing but an "expression of frustration" over his failure to make it to the Rajya Sabha.
"Anshuman Mishra's motivated and selective tirade against some of the top BJP leaders is nothing but an expression of frustration over his failure to make it to the Raja Sabha with the support of BJP MLAs from Jharkhand," Gadkari, who is believed to have backed Mishra's nomination which he had to withdraw following protest from certain BJP leaders, said in a statement.
Dismissing Mishra's allegations as "baseless and misleading", he also urged the party rank and file to ignore this "deliberate" attempt to create confusion by spreading "falsehood".
Mishra, who was supported by a section of the BJP as an independent nominee for Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand, had to withdraw at the last moment following a directive from the BJP central leadership to its MLAs not to vote for him.
Joshi, meanwhile, has maintained that Mishra's allegations are "fabricated" and whatever he has said with regard to him "is absolutely wrong" and a "concoction".
The senior BJP leader also asserted he had "strongly opposed" giving a Rajya Sabha ticket to Mishra when his opinion was sought.
With additional information from PTI