Under pressure from party workers and its ideological fountainhead, the RSS, the BJP on Saturday announced that the membership of Sabir Ali, a former JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP, had been annulled. Mr. Ali had joined the BJP only on Friday.
“Sabir Ali’s induction has caused great resentment. Party leadership has been apprised of d strong views of d cadre n people agnst it ...,” RSS national leader Ram Madhav tweeted.
An embarrassed BJP leadership eventually gave in, annulling Mr. Ali’s membership. This is the second time in a week that the party has had to revoke the induction of a new member. Earlier, it pulled back on Sri Ram Sene leader Pramod Muthalik following widespread protests.
Mr. Muthalik has since decided to contest the Lok Sabha election from the Bangalore South constituency, where he is pitted against the Congress’s Nandan Nilekani and the BJP’s Ananth Kumar.
Mr. Ali’s inclusion sparked off a controversy when senior member Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi tweeted his disapproval and urged the leadership to reconsider the decision. “Terrorist Bhatkal friend joins BJP... soon accepting Dawood...,” Mr. Naqvi had tweeted.
‘Put induction on hold’
Before his membership was annulled, Mr. Ali shot off a letter to Dharmendra Pradhan, the party leader in-charge of Bihar, to put his induction on hold.
“I have written a letter to Dharmendra Pradhan to keep my membership on hold. I have also asked him to form a committee in this regard and inquire into my case on the basis of these allegations,” Mr. Ali told reporters.