New Delhi: Senior Supreme Court lawyer and BJP leader Ram Jethmalani on Sunday 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 openly hit out saying that nobody in the party has the courage to act against him. He even went as far as to say he was not bothered about the clean chit given to Gadkari in the Purti deal by RSS leader S Gurumurthy.
"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," said Jethmalani.
Sources said that the party is likely to decide on action against Jethmalani at the Parliamentary Board meeting on Monday evening. It could be a suspension of six years or even an expulsion from the party itself. This even as the anti-Gadkari camp grew more defiant with party leader Shatrughan Sinha backing Jathmalani and Yashwant Sinha's demand for resignation of Gadkari.
Sinha also openly diefied the party line and backed the Congress over the appointment of CBI director Ranjit Sinha. "The issue raised by them (Jethmalani and Yashwant Sinha) should be looked at seriously," Sinha had said on Saturday. Jethmalani, while demanding Gadkari's resignation, had claimed some other BJP leaders were with him on the demand for Gadkari's exit as party chief.
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".
In a letter to BJP President Nitin Gadkari, Jethmalani defended the government's decision saying, "I regret that this criticism is the result of complete ignorance of relevant facts and possibly has been initiated by a most undesirable rival who had to withdraw his petition before the CAT as a result of the appointment." Jethmalani alleged that the "rival had powerful friends everywhere who do not know what a disaster it would have been if he could manage to become Director of CBI in place of Mr Sinha".
Explaining his stand, Jethmalani told CNN-IBN, "The PM has done the right thing. I constantly criticise the government but they have done good work here. I want to congratulate the PM for this because the person who wanted to become the CBI director is not qualified enough to hold the post. His record is so bad. He is even incapable for the post he's holding right now."
"Jethmalani has been making statements against the BJP President and has now spoken against the two Leaders of the Opposition. We completely deny his charges against them. The party has taken serious note of his statements and strong action will be taken at the appropriate time," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain had said.