Rising clamour for Gadkari's removal splits BJP leaders

The demand for Nitin Gadkari’s resignation from the party president’s post has gained momentum with a national executive member of the BJP, Jagadish Shettigar, suggesting him to step down.

“Gadkari is also a ‘Swayamsewak’ whose dharma (principle) is to protect the interest of the country first and then protect the interest of the organisation. So I am sure being a Swayamsewak as per the conscience he will take the best step in the overall interest of the country and the organisation,” the party leader said here on Saturday. 

He said Gadkari should step down till the process of investigations into the allegations levelled against him was completed. He cited the example of BJP leader L K Advani, who had stepped down following allegations against him in the Hawala case.

Shettigar said that timely action on Gadkari’s part was crucial, in view of the importance of public perception.

He, however, refused to comment on the clean chit given to party president by RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy, saying he had not studied his report.

Shettigar , however, underlined that there should be an internal mechanism to identify if a person was involved in corruption. “If what has been reported is correct then I think it is not as per what you call the norms of Sebi or other institutions,” he said.

Earlier, BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani and his son Mahesh also demanded that Gadkari should step down from his post as the charges against him were damaging the party.

Uma defends Gadkari

Meanwhile, BJP leader Uma Bharti came to the defence of the beleaguered party president, saying that people like Ram Jethmalani had no say in decision-making within the party.

“I have been watching for the past four-five days that the father-son duo Ram and Mahesh Jethmalani have become the guardians of morality. They cannot even enter the place where decisions are taken on who should be president and who should resign,” she said.

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