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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Jethmalani softens stance, BJP may revoke suspension

Vikas Pathak, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 11, 2013
First Published: 23:58 IST(11/1/2013) | Last Updated: 00:00 IST(12/1/2013)

Suspended BJP member Ram Jethmalani showed distinct signs of softening his strident opposition to party president Nitin Gadkari on Friday. He met the latter at party patriarch LK Advani's residence and reportedly expressed faith in the party's leadership.

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Jethmalani also wrote a conciliatory letter to Gadkari.

Party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said the BJP's parliamentary board would take a call on Jethmalani's letter, which opens a window for revocation of the Rajya Sabha MP's suspension from the party.

Jethmalani revealed to HT the content of his letter, which says: "I am in agreement with the democratic principles and policies of the BJP."

This was in response to a show cause notice sent to him by the party in November, after suspending him for accusing top party leaders of opposing the appointment of Ranjit Sinha as CBI chief to favour Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar.

But, significantly, the suspension had come about just after his open opposition to the continuation of Gadkari as party chief in view of charges of business irregularities against him.

The change in Jethmalani's tone is being seen as a softening of Advani stance towards Gadkari. As Advani was opposed to a second term for Gadkari, the softening is being seen as an indicator of the senior leader being open to another term for Gadkari. This happens days before top RSS leaders' meet in Delhi just as Gadkari's term comes to an end.

Jethmalani is close to Narendra Modi also, and his softening is being read as Modi's gesture to Gadkari.

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