Terming his suspension from the Bharatiya Janata Party as 'ultravires', Ram Jethmalani on Tuesday mounted a fresh attack on the party leadership, accusing Nitin Gadkari of treading on the path of suicide and dragging the party with him.
In a strongly worded letter to Gadkari, Jethmalani also alluded to the alleged role played by Arun Jaitley in the row over the appointment of the new director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
"Your order of suspension is ultravires and usurpation of the power of the Parliamentary Board. Besides, no situation had arisen in which you should have proceeded without speaking to me and complying with ordinary decencies of a quasi-judicial office which you hold," the suspended party Member of Parliament said.
He maintained that he is "totally indifferent" to the step taken by Gadkari as his standing in the legal profession and in politics as well as the affection and respect that he enjoys from people in India does not depend on his membership of Parliament.
Making a scathing comment, Jethmalani said in his letter, "I am convinced that you are firmly set on the path of suicide and you are determined to drag the whole party with you. Vinaash kale vipreet buddhi (when one is set to be doomed he loses his mind) is an old maxim."
He also said he suspects that Gadkari is prejudiced against him and hence took this action.
Levelling charges against other senior party leaders, Jethmalani has said Gadkari has suspended him on the advice of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.
Jethmalani has also referred to the controversy over the appointment of Ranjit Sinha as the new CBI director and alluded to the alleged role of Jaitley in the litigation filed by his rival and Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar.
"The litigation instituted by Sinha's rival is too notorious a fact not to be known to our party leaders," Jethmalani said.
He claimed that the advocates appearing for the rival officer were Jaitley's "juniors."
"It is very improbable that the litigation before CAT was not known to him and I presume that you (Gadkari) have also acted on advice of Arun Jaitley," he charged.
"I did not know until I learnt from the press that the appointment of the new incumbent (to the post of CBI director) was opposed by our leaders on some different grounds," Jethmalani said.
He also complained to Gadkari that though he is a senior Rajya Sabha member and a founder-member of the BJP, Jaitley and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj did not discuss the Lokpal Bill with him.
Talking to reporters outside Parliament, Jethmalani maintained that he has not received any show-cause letter from the party and only learnt about it from the media.
"I learnt from the press that they have issued a show-cause notice. I have not received anything yet. So I have not read it. I will read it and if I find any substance in it, I will reply to it. Otherwise I will throw it in the waste paper basket," he said.
The BJP parliamentary board had on Monday issued a show-cause notice to him.
When pointed out that party MP Shatrughan Sinha had also supported the appointment of CBI Director Ranjit Sinha but no action has been taken against him, Jethmalani said, "I am not commenting on anybody. Shatrughan Sinha has not done all the things which I have done. He does not deserve to be thrown out of the party."
Asked repeatedly why he has been selectively penalised by the party, the eminent lawyer said, "They have also raised the same question but they have raised it after me. I have raised it first so their guilt is less."
Asked whether he is contemplating leaving the party, he said, "Why should I leave the party? I have to remain in Parliament and public life. That is why I do not want to resign and give them a handle."
Meanwhile, BJP leader Arun Jaitley refused to get into a war of words with Jethmalani.
Replying to a question about Jethmalani, Jaitley said, "I don't think he (Jethmalani) deserves the reply any more".
Asked whether BJP was acting lenient towards Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha, who have also demanded the resignation of Gadkari, he said, "Well, we do not discuss all these issues".