In a veiled attack on Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Parliament Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday asked the party why it was shying away from demanding the resignations of Union ministers Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel, for their alleged involvement in the IPL scam.
Expressing her views at the BJP parliamentary party meeting today morning, Maneka said Patel and his daughter had flouted so many rules, but still the party had not demanded the minister's resignation. This approach, she maintained, was negating all the gains the BJP had made by successfully demanding the resignation of Union minister Shashi Tharoor over the IPL issue.
Gandhi said when Mumbai was burning, referring to the 26/11 terror attacks, it took eight hours to get a plane to take National Security Guard personnel to the spot, while it took only one hour to charter an Air India plane that was provided to ferry IPL players. She was hinting towards reports that Poorna, daughter of Praful Patel and a hospitality manager of IPL, had arranged for a commercial flight to be converted into a chartered flight.
Party sources said this was an attack on Jaitley as the BJP's reluctance to seek the resignations of Pawar and Patel is due to the party general secretary and BCCI vice-president's closeness to them.
Incidentally, senior leader Yashwant Sinha also supported Gandhi's contention, that the party should insist that Pawar and Patel put in their papers.
Sinha also suggested that the BJP should move a breach of privilege motion against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for refusing the demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe against the IPL scam and phone tapping of politicians.
Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia tried to reason that the party should not seek the resignations of Pawar and Patel as there was no clinching evidence against them.
Responding to Gandhi's suggestions, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said the party should pay heed to her opinion.