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Jethmalani gatecrashes BJP meet, castigates senior leaders

Last updated on: May 07, 2013 18:02 IST

Suspended Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Parliament Ram Jethmalani on Tuesday gatecrashed the Parliamentary Party meeting of the main opposition and accused it of being soft on the United Progressive Alliance government on the issue of corruption.

Though Jethmalani is not permitted to attend the weekly Parliamentary Party meeting of the BJP, he stormed into the venue in the Parliament House complex and accused the party of being too mild, sources said.

Suggesting that the opposition's attack needs to be sharpened, Jethmalani said the BJP was not attacking the government as vociferously and strongly as it should have done on the issue of corruption.

He alleged that the BJP is in a state of flux and not active enough in targeting the ruling party.

Jethmalani also asked the party leadership as to why no action has been taken about removing him from the party though over three months have passed since he was served a notice. He said he should either be thrown out of the party or the notice should be taken back.

Jethmalani was suspended on November 25 last year after he attacked the party over certain issues.

All BJP MPs, including Parliamentary Party Chief L K Advani, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley, heard Jethmalani in silence as he spoke for 10 minutes before walking out in a huff, the sources said.

BJP MPs Ananth Kumar, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Shahnawaz Hussain among others spoke against Jethmalani's behaviour and said this should not be tolerated. Several MPs suggested that he should be thrown out of the party.

The BJP top brass, however, is of the opinion that expelling Jethmalani from the party will increase his "damage potential and nuisance value" as he will be free to speak his mind in the Rajya Sabha.

This would harm the party even more, said BJP sources, adding that he may be issued a show cause notice on his conduct.

As a suspended member, Jethmalani is bound by the BJP whip and can speak or cast his vote in the House only as per the directions of the party.

Meanwhile, party insiders said a decision on Jethmalani may be taken soon in view of his outburst against the BJP.

BJP President Rajnath Singh was not present in the meeting.

Soon after the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting, senior leaders who are members of the party's Parliamentary Board, its top decision-making body, met at Advani's office in Parliament House and discussed the issue.

Among those who attended the meeting included Rajnath Singh, Swaraj and Jaitley.

Jethmalani has also written to the party president, seeking an early decision on his suspension, after a notice was served on him.

The noted lawyer did not take any telephone call despite repeated attempts.

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