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BJP chastened

india Updated: Jan 11, 2007 02:05 IST
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Six of the eleven MPs expelled after the cash-for-question sting operation belonged to the BJP. And the party did not hide its “dissent” when Parliament acted against them in December 2005.

But soon after the Supreme Court’s verdict upholding Parliament’s powers to expel them, the BJP buried its opposition and ruled out ticket to the  MPs to contest elections. Instead, the party hailed the verdict, saying it acknowledged “the supremacy of Parliament as far as conduct of its own members is concerned.”

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said his party's note of dissent, articulated by Leader of Opposition LK Advani and deputy VK Malhotra at the time of expulsion in December 2005 was an issue of the “past”.  Prasad said,  “I do not think the party will give them tickets. The party has always taken serious view of acts of corruption even if it involves some of its own members.” BJP insiders attributed the change of the party’s position to two factors. One, the RSS had not approved the position taken by Advani in support of the MPs. Secondly, in hindsight the party thinks it is best to dump the disgraced MPs. Malhotra suggested, “It is good that punishment is awarded for corruption, but there should also be rules to decide such cases.”

Email Shekhar Iyer: siyer