Senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar today said former party chief Bangaru Laxman's conviction in the 11-year-old bribery case was a "black day" for the party which would have to pay the price for not acting well in time against him.
Expressing anguish over conviction of one of BJP's top leaders in a corruption case, the veteran leader said the party would not have faced the embarrassment if it had taken action against Laxman at the time the incident took place.
"I had asked for action against Laxman but no one except the then Prime Minister AB Vajpayee supported me and today the leaders who were annoyed at my demand are saying that the party has nothing to do with the judgement against Laxman," the former Himachal Pradesh chief minister told media persons.
"His (Laxman's) conviction in the case is a black day for the party which will have to pay the price for not acting against him during 11 long years," he said.
The former BJP president was recently sentenced to four years in prison by a Delhi court after his conviction in an 11-year-old bribery case.
On "Mission Repeat" launched by Himachal unit of BJP to reinstall the party's government in the state after the next assembly polls, Kumar said it would be a futile exercise if effective steps were not taken to convince people that the party was against corruption and a strategy was not drawn like the one in Punjab where five ministers and four chairmen were removed and senior party leaders who had floated a separate outfit were brought back.
Alleging that major decisions were being taken without consulting him, he had a dig at party leaders, saying he was happy that they have become so capable and competent that his advice was not required.