Jethmalani son quits BJP national committee

Gadkari morally unfit to lead BJP, Mahesh says

Lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani on submitted his resignation from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national executive committee as a mark of protest against party president Nitin Gadkari’s continuation in office despite facing an Income Tax probe over having dummy directors and running many of his 18 companies from a “chawl” in Mumbai.

The lawyer-cum-politician wrote In a terse letter, “Morally and intellectually inappropriate to serve BJP as long as you are president.”

Though the RSS has refused to show the door to Gadkari, seen as its appointee, the party is now facing resentment from within over his rebuff to quit following serious allegations of business malpractices that had led to conflict of interest.

 One of his companies had taken a huge loan from a private firm which had got contract when Gadkari was road minister in Maharashtra.

Jethmalani’s letter is being seen as an attempt to put pressure on the party president and the RSS for Gadkari’s exit though the Sangh Parivar had sort of supported him by saying that the allegations were only in the media.

 Jethmalani came out in the open to acknowledge before the media that he was not content with Gadkari’s defence that he was open for any inquiry into corruption charges levelled against him.

Interestingly, his father Ram Jethmalani, too, sent a letter to the party chief on September 27, suggesting that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi should be projected as prime ministerial candidate in the next general election.

The stand ran contrary to Gadkari’s view that the party must face the election without announcing a candidate for the post of the prime minister.

The BJP was furious with Mahesh Jethmalani, who continues to be a member of the party, going to media instead of keeping it within the organisation.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said: “I have not seen the letter and do not know its contents. But the BJP is, perhaps, the largest party in terms of the number of members and if every member takes such a letter to the media it would cause much damage to the party.  This is not in the interests of the party.”

Defending Gadkari, Rudy said the probe against the BJP president, which he had himself asked for, is being conducted by the “hostile” Congress government which would “not be pleased” to give him a clean chit. Congress spokesperson Renuka Chaudhary refused to comment on the simmering discontent in the BJP over Gadkari.

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