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BJP suspends two MPs, issues show cause notice to Keshubhai
December 21, 2007 19:20 IST
Last Updated: December 21, 2007 20:40 IST
Cracking its whip against the rebels in Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday issued show cause notices to veteran leaders Keshubhai Patel and Kashiram Rana, and suspended two of its Lok Sabha members for 'hurting' the party's interests during the assembly polls.
Patel, who was the rallying point for the detractors of Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images], and Rana were accused of 'sabotaging' the party's poll prospects through their public statements, which 'helped' the ruling BJP's political rivals in the state.
Both of them have been asked to explain within a week as to why they made such statements 'which damaged the party's poll efforts'.
Coverage: Battle for Gujarat
Along with Patel and Rana, who is an member of Parliament from Surat, BJP chief Rajnath Singh also acted against two other MPs, Vallabhai Kathiria and Somabhai Patel, suspending them from the party's primary membership for 'indiscipline'.
Patel, a former chief minister, was hauled up for making public statements, criticising the party leadership and issuing those in the form of an advertisement.
The action against Rana was taken for his controversial remark that a 'wave of change' was sweeping Gujarat, which the party said meant that the BJP would lose in the elections.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the party had to take action against the leaders as they did not show any change in their behaviour that the party was expecting towards the end of the campaigning.
The BJP has been facing a virtual revolt in Gujarat with Patel leading the Modi detractors and the party's action is seen in the context of Singh's determination to enforce discipline.
Patel had, in the newspaper advertisement which appeared a week before the first phase of assembly elections on December 11, described Modi as a 'dictator' and appealed to the voters of Gujarat that it was time to 'remove him'.
The advertisement, brought out by Sardar Patel Utkarsh Samiti, a grouping of Modi detractors, appeared despite BJP's efforts to woo Keshubhai to its side.
The action was taken on the basis of a report from the local leadership and information collected on their public statements, the letters issued to them said. They contained almost similar charges and were signed by party general secretary Vinay Katiyar.
The BJP central leadership told Rana that his 'wave of change' remark was 'anti-party' and asked him to explain why he made such a statement which damaged the party's poll efforts.
Both Kathiria and Somabhai Patel, MPs from Rajkot and Surendranagar respectively, were charged with 'indiscipline' and were suspended from the party's primary membership for six years.
They will be issued a chargesheet soon, after which, they have been asked to respond within 10 days, failing which the party will initiate disciplinary proceedings against them.