It was finally a strong reaction from the BJP leadership, which has suspended noted lawyer and belligerent member Ram Jethmalani for attacking the party over its criticism of the appointment of the new CBI director. the move sets the scene ready for an open split in BJP soon.
Earlier, Jethmalani dared the party to take disciplinary action. “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 had told reporters.
Earlier, actor-turned MP Shatrughan Sinha had expressed his support to Jethmalani and Yashwant Sinha in demanding resignation of party President Nitin Gadkari on corruption allegations levelled against them.
Suspending him from the party, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussainsaid: “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.”
The brewing schism in BJP has now come open over the role of Gadkari as President. Unlike Bangaru Laxman who had promptly resigned after the Tehelka exposure, Gadkari is adamant to bow down and the party is divided over long term versus short term calculations. The obvious result is that BJP is getting enough flak for its failure to take up leadership role to face the forthcoming national elections in 2014.
While Yeshwatn Sinha and the likes from the party are upset over the dirt clinging to the party’s image, the rotten hands of party who are maneuvring the politics based on realistic calculations are apprehensive that removal of Gadkari may send wrong signals of acceptance of corruption allegations. With Karnataka already heading to a split with the breakaway party formed ex-chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, BJP in the centre is shaky to witness similar split.
But the truth is daunting the party that it should either clean its hands or face another defeat in national politics. Now the party certainly requires LK Advani’s leadership.