BJP expels Jethmalani for six years

New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has expelled senior lawyer and MP Ram Jethmalani from the primary membership of the party for six years over “breach of discipline”.

In a letter to Jethmalani, BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar Tuesday said the party’s parliamentary board had taken a unanimous decision Monday to expel him from the membership of the party. He also indicated further action against Jethmalani over violation of 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 parliamentary board, therefore, decided to expel you for a period of six years from the primary membership of the party,” the letter stated.

Jethmalani, 89, had earlier been suspended by the party.

Ananth Kumar said the party had issued notice to Jethmalani Nov 26, 2012 asking why disciplinary action should not be taken and noted that the MP had raised several questions in his letter of Dec 4, 2012 but had not directly answered the notice.

“You had made several false allegations against the functionaries of the party. You have raised some irrelevant issues relating to the police commissioner of Delhi which do not relate to the party at all. You had also written on November 26, 2012 to the party President almost on the same lines,” the letter said.

He said the parliamentary board was of the opinion that Jethmalani “failed to show any cause with regard to the charges made”.

“You have failed to respond to the charge of making statements embarrassing to the party. You have further failed to show any sufficient cause with regard to the allegations made by you against the Leaders of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. 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 letter said.

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

“The above action is without prejudice to any action that may be initiated against you under Tenth Schedule of the Constitution,” the letter said.

Jethmalani had launched an open attack on then party president Nitin Gadkari in November last year and demanded his resignation over allegations of graft.

He named Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh as leaders who shared his views that Gadkari should quit as party chief.

Jethmalani had later criticised BJP’s stance over appointment of Ranjit Sinha as CBI director.

Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, leaders of opposition in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, respectively, had written letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying that appointment of the CBI director should not have been made as a select committee of the Rajya Sabha had suggested that such appointments should be done through a collegium.

The prime minister had rejected the BJP’s demand to hold in abeyance Sinha’s appointment as CBI director.

Jethmalani had also made remarks against Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the decision concerning Jethmalani’s expulsion was final.

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