After maintaining for days that law should takes its course in the Suryanelli rape case, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday took a firm stand that Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson P J Kurien, who is facing allegations in the matter, should step down on "moral grounds".
The main opposition had been maintaining that law should take its own course in the case and that it was a matter between the victim and the Congress MP.
However, after a meeting with some BJP leaders of Kerala, who were apparently called here to apprise the central leaders of the case details, the party took a harsher stand.
"New revelations everyday in the Suryanelli rape case has made P J Kurien's position as deputy chairperson of Rajya Sabha untenable. BJP, after consulting its state unit, demands that on moral grounds he should quit office till he is absolved of the charges," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
The BJP unit in Kerala has been agitating on the matter seeking Kurien's resignation and a probe into the allegations against him.
Javadekar said Kurien cannot continue till he "gets a clean chit" in the matter. "We demand that Kurien should quit till proved innocent," he said.
Left parties have already demanded that Kurien step down. The pressure on Kurien is likely to mount in the run-up to the budget session of Parliament beginning February 21.
"The state unit has been regularly updating the Central leadership about the developments on this issue. We have been consistently demanding Kurien's resignation," BJP Kerala unit Chief V Muraleedharan told PTI.