Rebel Bharatiya Janata Party MP Ram Jethmalani, who had been critical of the BJP leadership and had revolted against the then party chief Nitin Gadkari, was on Tuesday expelled from the primary membership of the party for six years on charges of "breach of discipline".
The expulsion of 89-year-old Jethmalani, who is a member of Rajya Sabha, by the BJP Parliamentary Board comes weeks after he had barged into a Parliamentary Party meeting and questioned his continued suspension. He had also asked if he could be issued a whip when he has been suspended.
In a letter to Jethmalani, BJP leader Ananth Kumar said the party's Parliamentary Board, which met in Delhi on Monday, had taken a unanimous decision to expel him from primary membership of the party, after going through his replies made in response to a show cause notice in November, 2012.
"The Central Parliamentary Board after considering all your replies, responses and letters was of the unanimous opinion that you have indulged in a breach of discipline. The Parliamentary Board, therefore, decided to expel you for a period of six years from the primary membership of the party," the letter said.
The noted lawyer has often courted controversy by making anti-BJP comments. He was suspended from the party after he opposed a second term for Gadkari as BJP President, saying he has to first come clean on allegations of corruption against his Purti group of companies.
He had criticised the BJP for opposing the appointment of Ranjit Sinha as CBI chief, and praising the government over the move. He had also said that the BJP was soft in attacking Congress in Parliament.
In the letter, Jethmalani was also told that he defied the party whip by not voting for the election of the members of the Committee on Public Undertakings.
"The above action is without prejudice to any action that may be initiated against you under Tenth Schedule of the Constitution," the letter read.