BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Sunday suspended a defiant Ram Jethmalani from the party with immediate effect for daring it to act against him on the CBI chief's appointment issue.
Cracking the whip, BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Sunday suspended a defiant Ram Jethmalani from the party with immediate effect for daring it to act against him on the CBI chief's appointment issue, saying it was "gross indiscipline".
A meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board has been convened tomorrow at 4.30 PM to take a call on his expulsion, party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters here.
"Our party president Nitin Gadkari has taken cognizance of Ram Jethmalani's statements and his challenge that no action can be taken against him and has suspended his membership of the party with immediate effect," he said.
Jethmalani invited the BJP wrath after attacking the party for criticising the appointment of new CBI Director Ranjit Sinha.
The 86-year-old lawyer-turned-politician followed this up with remarks today in Mumbai that no action can be taken against him by the BJP, virtually challenging the authority of Gadkari and other top leaders.
Hussain said since the BJP Constitution gives the right to expel an MP or MLA only to the party's Parliamentary Board-the highest decision making body of the organisation-Gadkari has convened its meeting tomorrow afternoon to decide on Jethmalani's expulsion from the party.
"A decision on Jethmalani's expulsion will be taken by the Parliamentary Board tomorrow," Hussain said.
Today's decision was not unexpected and the party had indicated yesterday that strong action against Jethmalani may be taken.
Hussain said Jethmalani opposing the Swaraj-Jaitley letter to PM and his remarks today in Mumbai that no action can be taken against him has been viewed very seriously.
"BJP President Nitin Gadkari has viewed his remarks and today's statement very seriously," and decided to suspend him from the party with immediate effect, he said.
Jethmalani suspended from BJP for 'indiscipline':
The BJP Parliamentary Board will meet here tomorrow at 4.30 PM to take forward the suspension process since Jethmalani is a sitting MP.
In Mumbai, Jethmalani said many in the party shared his views, but "few had the capacity" to express their views openly.
He, however, clarified that his views on Sinha's appointment were his own and not of the BJP, where "I am a small person."
"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," he told reporters on the sidelines of a launching of a book written by a city-based journalist.
Yesterday, Jethmalani had attacked the party for criticising the appointment of new CBI Director and said the government's decision has "averted national calamity".
On if there were more people in the party having a similar stand, Jethmalani said, "I am sure there are more. I am 100 per cent sure that there are many more, many more but all don't have the capacity to speak the truth publicly and openly."
In Delhi, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said Jethmalani's suspension was an "internal matter of the BJP"
Actor-turned MP from Patna Sahib, Shatrughan Sinha has joined Jethmalani and Yashwant Sinha in demanding Gadkari's resignation saying the issue raised by them should be looked at seriously.
"The issue raised by them (Jethmalani and Yashwant Sinha) should be looked at seriously," Sinha had told reporters yesterday in Patna replying to a question whether he agreed with the other two BJP leaders' demand for Gadkari's resignation.