BJP expels Jethmalani for six years

New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) The BJP Tuesday said it had expelled senior lawyer and MP Ram Jethmalani from its primary membership for criticising then party president Nitin Gadkari and other issues.

Citing "breach of discipline", BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar said in a letter to Jethmalani that the decision was taken Monday by the party's parliamentary board.

He also indicated further action against Jethmalani, 89, for violating the party whip.

"The central parliamentary board, after considering all your replies, responses and letters, was of the unanimous opinion that you have indulged in a breach of discipline," the letter said.

"The parliamentary board, therefore, decided to expel you for six years from the primary membership."

Jethmalani had in November last year demanded Gadkari's resignation over allegations of financial wrongdoing in companies linked to him.

Jethmalani had then claimed that party colleagues Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh backed his demand.

This led to Jethmalani's suspension from the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Jethmalani had also criticised the BJP's denunciation of the appointment of Ranjit Sinha as the Central Bureau of Investigation director.

BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj had told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the appointment of the CBI director should have been done through a collegium.

"You had made several false allegations against the functionaries of the party," the letter said.

"You have raised some irrelevant issues relating to the police commissioner of Delhi...

"You have failed to respond to the charge of making statements embarrassing to the party...

"You have again failed to show any sufficient cause for challenging the authority and legitimacy of the party by stating that the party has no guts to take action against you."

The BJP said Jethmalani defied the whip of the party May 6 by not voting for the election of members of the committee on public undertakings.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the decision on expelling Jethmalani was final.

The vocal Jethmalani resigned as law minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government following differences with then Attorney General Soli Sorabjee.

He contested the 2004 Lok Sabha election against Vajpayee from Lucknow and lost. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha as a BJP candidate in 2010.

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