Go now, Yashwant tells his party chief Gadkari

Yashwant Sinha

BJP chief Nitin Gadkari came under fresh attack from within the party Tuesday over his alleged improper business deals with senior leader Yashwant Sinha saying he should quit the post even if he was not guilty.

"I do not care if Gadkari is clean or guilty, but he should quit," Sinha told reporters. "Whether Gadkari is guilty or not is not the issue...those in public life should be beyond reproach."

The party, however, was obviously upset with Sinha's comments with general secretary and chief spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad saying Sinha should not have made his stand public and appealed to him to reconsider it. Asked if the party would take action against Sinha, disciplinary committee chairman Om Prakash Kohli said Sinha was a member of Parliament and therefore any action against him could only be initiated by the parliamentary board.

Party sources said the RSS, at least for now, was in no mood to give up on Gadkari, handpicked by Sarsanghchalak Mohanrao Bhagwat for the top post. The Sangh is said to believe that the attack on Gadkari is in reality aimed at Bhagwat.

Sinha said he was seeking Gadkari's resignation with a "great deal of sadness and regret and after exhausting the forums available" for him in the party.

"I am confident that the issue I am raising has merit and I have faith in the wisdom of the party to be able to deal with this issue. In fact, it is this faith which kept me from issuing this statement earlier. Unfortunately, despite my best effort, the party has been unable to take a decision in the matter," he said.

The BJP, according to him, had always set the highest standard of conduct in the past and should do so now as well. "We were a party with a difference earlier. We must continue to be a party with a difference even today and in future," the former union minister said.

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