Now, BJP annuls Sabir Ali's membership

Now, BJP annuls Sabir Ali's membership

Now, BJP annuls Sabir Ali's membership

An embarrassed BJP on Saturday caved in to the growing open dissent from within and the RSS, cancelling controversial JD(U) MP Sabir Ali’s membership a day after he was exhibited as a big catch to dent Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s pro-minority image.

This is the second U-turn the party has taken in less than a week. It had to show the door to Sri Ram Sene leader Pramod Muthalik following criticism on his joining, given his controversial storming of a pub in Mangalore to chase out young women back in 2009.

“BJP president Rajnath Singh has decided that the membership of Sabir Ali stands annulled,” the party’s chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad, who as a leader from Bihar might have been aware of the move, told reporters.

Prasad, however, acknowledged that Singh’s decision was in response to the public hue and cry his own leaders made after Ali was inducted into the party. But Singh, added Prasad, has told the leaders to restrict the airing of their views to the party forum, taking strong objection to tweets and public statements made by  Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Vinay Katiyar and Balbir Punj.

The BJP central leadership claimed that Ali was brought into the party fold on the state unit’s recommendation, but sources said Delhi was part of the process.

Ali wrote a letter to the BJP’s Bihar in-charge, Dharmendra Pradhan, requesting that the move to accept him into the party may be kept on hold and the outcome subject to a probe on the allegations made against him.

“I have written a letter to Dharmendra Pradhan to keep my membership on hold,” Ali told reporters. He also said: “I will file a defamation case against Naqvi. I am also ready to sit with him for a debate.”