Expelled BJP MPs likely to be removed from party
Party chief Rajnath Singh is expected to discuss the issue with Vajpayee, Advani and Jaswant Singh.india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 23:32 IST
Taking a tough line on corruption, new BJP President Rajnath Singh has made up his mind to remove all six membersexpelled from Parliament in the cash-for-query scam from the party as well.
Singh is expected to discuss the issue with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Leaders of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha LK Advani and Jaswant Singh respectively in this regard, highly placed party sources said.
"He (Singh) is very clear that they should go out. There should be no ambiguity in his message that corruption and indiscipline will not be tolerated. He wants their case as an example, as a warning for the party leaders and cadres," a senior party leader said.
A final decision on the fate of the MPs is expected to be announced shortly, the sources said.
While Chhatrapal Singh Lodha from Orissa was expelled from the Rajya Sabha on the recommendations on the Ethics Committee headed by Karan Singh, the BJP members expelled from the Lower House were Anna Saheb MK Patil, YG Mahajan, Pradeep Gandhi, Suresh Chandel and Chandra Pratap Singh.
While the party had initially taken a moral high suspending all the accused MPs from the BJP Parliamentary Party and even recommended their suspension from the Parliament, its leader VK Malhotra gave a dissent note in the Lok Sabha committee, headed by Pawan Kumar Bansal which probed the matter, saying "due procedure" was not followed in recommending their expulsion.
Several party leaders are understood to have conveyed to Singh their unhappiness over the party's stand and felt that "the move was not in tune with the public mood".
"We began on a positive note by being the first to suspend them but ended up projecting that we were shielding the corrupt, defending the indefensible", said a leader.
"Even the Bahujan Samaj Party, which blames the Manuvadis for all the ills, took no time in expelling its MP from the party. Then why are we seen to be condoning it?", asked a senior Rajya Sabha Member.
The new BJP Chief, he said, was aware that his message against corruption and indiscipline would sound hollow so long as these MPs remain in the party.
It was not clear whether Singh would take an equally harsh view of its MP and Scheduled Tribe Morcha leader Faggan Singh Khulaste, who too has been suspended from the Parliamentary Party in the MPLAD scam.
Singh is understood to be having the full backing of the RSS in his approach towards the expelled MPs, the sources said.
The BJP Chief is known for taking tough decisions and is credited with introducing the Anti-Copying Act in Uttar Pradesh as the state's Education Minister even at the cost of antagonising several party colleagues.