Says BJP chief dragging the party on a suicidal path, terms his suspension ‘ultra vires’ and due to personal pique
Suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ram Jethmalani on Tuesday mounted a fresh attack on party president Nitin Gadkari, accusing him of dragging the party on a suicidal path and took pot shots at Leaders of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha — Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj respectively — over the appointment of the new Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director.
In his letter to Mr. Gadkari and in comments to the media, Mr. Jethmalani made a scathing attack on Mr. Jaitley for backing Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar for the post of CBI Director who he said was “totally unworthy” of holding that office.
However, Mr. Jaitley refused to indulge in a war of words with Mr. Jethmalani saying, “I don’t think he deserves a reply any more.”
Terming his suspension from the BJP ultra vires, Mr. Jethmalani said he was even ready for expulsion if he was guilty but was unremitting in his attack on Mr. Gadkari, whose “rubbish” has harmed the party and dented its image.
“Your order of suspension is ultra vires and usurpation of the power of the Parliamentary Board. Besides no situation had arisen in which you should have proceeded without speaking to me and complying with ordinary decencies of a quasi-judicial office which you hold,” the suspended party MP said.
Mr. Jethmalani maintained that he was “totally indifferent” to the step taken by Mr. Gadkari as his standing in the legal profession and in politics as well as the affection and respect that he enjoyed from sections of the people of India did not depend on his membership of Parliament.
He said in his letter, “I am convinced that you are firmly set on the path of suicide and you are determined to drag the whole party with you. Vinash kal Vipreet Buddhi [when one is set to be doomed he loses his mind]’ is an old maxim.”
He also said he suspected Mr. Gadkari was prejudiced against him and hence suspended him out of “personal pique.”
Levelling charges against other senior party leaders, Mr. Jethmalani has said Mr. Gadkari has suspended him on the advice of Mr. Jaitley.
Touching on the CBI controversy and the letter written by Mr. Jaitley and Ms. Swaraj to the Prime Minister opposing the appointment of Mr. Ranjit Sinha, he said: “The litigation instituted by Mr. Sinha’s rival is too notorious a fact not to be known to our party leaders.”
He claimed that the advocates appearing for the rival officer have been virtually Mr. Jaitley’s “juniors.”
“It is very improbable that the litigation before CAT was not known to him and I presume that you [Gadkari] have also acted on the advice of Mr. Arun Jaitley,” he charged.
“I did not know until I learnt from the press that the appointment of the new incumbent [to the post of CBI Director] was opposed by our leaders on some different grounds,” Mr. Jethmalani said.
He also complained to Mr. Gadkari that though he was a senior Rajya Sabha member and a founder of the BJP, Mr. Jaitley and Ms. Swaraj did not discuss the Lokpal Bill with him.
Mr. Jethmalani rejected the 10-day deadline given by the party for him to reply to his show cause notice on his expulsion, saying he was busy and the time should be extended up to December-end.