NEW DELHI: After being expelled from the BJP for six years, senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani in a letter to party president Rajnath Singh said: 'By this stupid order of expulsion, the Party has committed suicide. It will only bring joy to our corrupt rulers and few of their corrupt collaborators within the Party. If you are determined to commit suicide, even the gods cannot salvage you.'
Party vice president Smriti Irani said Jethmalani had failed to respond to a directive from the BJP to explain his recent statements, leading to his expulsion.
"Jethmalani, upon being found to have indulged in indiscipline, was asked to explain himself. He failed to respond," Irani said, adding that this forced the party's parliamentary board to expel him.
Irani refuted allegations that the party was growing increasingly intolerant to internal dissent.
"The BJP has had an environment of dialogue. It is a very democratic set up," she said while defending the party's decision to expel the Rajya Sabha MP from the party's primary membership for six years for "breach of discipline".
On Tuesday, the senior lawyer was expelled from the party primary membership for criticising Nitin Gadkari.
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."