The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday suspended senior MLA and former Rajasthan Assembly Speaker Kailash Meghwal from the party’s primary membership following the corruption charges levelled by him against Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal. BJP State president C.P. Joshi had recently served a show cause notice on him in the matter.
BJP disciplinary committee chairperson Onkar Singh Lakhawat said that Mr. Joshi had directed that Mr. Meghwal’s reply and the entire matter be referred to the panel for further action.
Mr. Kailash Meghwal, 89, had called the Union Minister “corrupt number one” at a public meeting last month and alleged that he had taken bribes worth crores of rupees as an officer in Churu district before he entered politics. The row between the two leaders has erupted just before the State Assembly election due in December this year.
The six-time octogenarian MLA, elected from Bhilwara district’s reserved constituency of Shahpura, remained defiant and demanded at a press conference here on Wednesday that Mr. Arjun Ram Meghwal be removed from his Cabinet post until the charges against him, including some cases reportedly pending in the courts, were decided.
Mr. Kailash Meghwal said he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his views and would seek the Election Commission’s intervention for cancellation of Mr. Arjun Ram Meghwal’s membership of the Parliament. He also said he would contest the upcoming Assembly election and defeat the BJP candidate by “thousands of votes”.
Mr. Kailash Meghwal alleged that the BJP’s State unit had factionalism “from top to bottom” and the leaders close to former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje were being targeted. He said he himself had been sidelined in the party and not allowed to participate in its ongoing Parivartan Yatras. The former Assembly Speaker is considered a heavyweight leader from Ms. Raje’s camp.