BJP cracks whip, suspends Ram Jethmalani for 'indiscipline'


A day after he questioned his party's stand on the appointment of the new CBI director, the BJP today suspended its Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani from the party "with immediate effect". The decision came just hours after the octogenarian taunted the party leadership once again, saying it did not have the "guts" to take action against him.

Party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters this evening that Jethmalani's remarks amounted to "gross indiscipline" and was aimed at helping the Congress party.

Jethmalani had on Saturday criticised senior party leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley for their "complete ignorance of relevant facts" for opposing the appointment of the new CBI director. Earlier, he had also demanded the resignation of party president Nitin Gadkari following charges of corruption.

Hussain said Jethmalani's suspension will be made official at the party's parliamentary board meeting tomorrow. Swaraj spoke to Jaitley and Rajnath Singh, who are both campaigning in Gujarat, before the decision was made public.

Earlier in the day, Jethmalani said the party did not have courage to take action against him because he was speaking the truth. "If there is any action against me, I will welcome it but I don't think anyone has the guts to take any action against me," he told reporters.

"I am a very small person in the party. I cannot stop the leadership from taking action against me but that does not mean that I will not speak the truth," he said, adding that he was happy that some more people had come out and supported the stand taken by him.

Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha had supported Jethmalani's demand for Gadkari's resignation. Today, Shatrughan Sinha, speaking in Patna, also supported Jethmalani on the appointment of the new CBI director, which has officially been objected to by the party.

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