Suspended BJP MP Ram Jethmalani on Wednesday refused to be cowed down by a show-cause notice issued to him, and instead continued to singe the party with fresh barbs directed at Nitin Gadkari and other leaders.
A founding member of the BJP in 1980, Jethmalani— who does not command a big following — accused party chief Nitin Gadkari of leading it on a suicidal path. He also alleged that senior leader Arun Jaitley was opposed to new CBI director Ranjit Sinha as he was batting for rival aspirant Neeraj Kumar, with whose lawyer Jaitley had had professional “links”.
The BJP has said its opposition to Sinha was institutional as it felt the government should have waited for the expected collegium system to kick in.
“I don’t think he deserves a reply anymore,” Jaitley responded to Jethmalani’s charge.
But a BJP leader said, “Neeraj Kumar was not even on the panel for CBI director. If he moved the CAT and hired a lawyer, who has once been a junior of another lawyer who was Jaitley’s junior 17 years ago, isn’t it outlandish to suggest Jaitley was batting for Kumar?”
Jethmalani’s latest letter to Gadkari was scathing: “… You are firmly set on the path of suicide and you are determined to drag the whole party with you.”
He said he would reply the show-cause notice only if he desired, adding he would throw it in the dustbin otherwise. He also said he wouldn’t reply it before December-end anyway.
Jethmalani also said party leaders in Parliament hadn’t consulted him on the Lokpal bill.
He had embarrassed the BJP when he contested the 2004 Lok Sabha polls from Lucknow against AB Vajpayee. “The BJP threw him out in the 1980s when he said he would defend Indira Gandhi’s killers,” a leader recalled.