BJP President Nitin Gadkari today came under fresh fire from party senior Yashwant Sinha who demanded his immediate resignation from the post in a revival of the campaign against him, embarrassing the party at a time when it plans to take on the government on issues including corruption.
"Whether our party president is guilty or not is not the issue today. The issue is that all of us in public life should be beyond reproach...I call upon Shri Nitin
Gadkari, with all the humility at my command, to immediately step down from the post of party president," he told
Interestingly, Sinha made the demand after being with Gadkari at a 90-minute meeting of the Parliamentary Party's Executive Committee at the residence of L K Advani in the morning.
The party reacted sharply disapproving his demand, saying it "does not deem it appropriate" and appealed to him to reconsider his stand. It said various party forums were available to him for discussing the issue.
Sinha's demand brings alive once again the campaign initiated by BJP Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani and his son Mahesh for the party chief's resignation in the wake of reports of alleged dubious financing of Purti Sugar and Power Group.
The campaign against Gadkari had appeared to take a backseat after the party backed him in the wake of a clean chit given by RSS ideologue and chartered accountant S
Gurumurthy, who had gone into the balance sheet and accounts of the Purti group.
But its revival may have come at an inappropriate time when the party plans to corner the government on various issues, including alleged scams, in the winter session of Parliament beginning Thursday.
Jethmalani while demanding Gadkari's resignation had claimed the backing of Yashwant
Sinha, Jaswant Singh and Shatrughan Sinha. Senior leader from Karnataka Jagdish Shettigar has also demanded Gadkari's resignation.
Today, the eminent lawyer said he was happy that Sinha has openly come out in his support.
Sinha said he was issuing his statement for Gadkari's resignation with a "great deal of sadness and regret and after exhausting the forums available" for him in the party.
"I am confident that the issue I am raising has merit and I have faith in the wisdom of the party to be able to deal with this issue.
"In fact, it is this faith which kept me from issuing this statement earlier. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts the party has been unable to take a decision in the matter," he said.
Recalling that in the past too he had raised his voice against supporting Anshuman Mishra in the Rajya Sabha elections, Sinha said, "the party had heeded my advice then and I hope it does now.
"The BJP has always set the highest standard of conduct in the past which should be followed even now. We were a party with a difference earlier. We must continue to be a party with a difference even today and in future."
The former Union Minister said he has been "greatly saddened" by the events over the last few weeks.
"We have also deeply disappointed those who were looking towards us to fight the mind boggling corruption of the Congress party.
"We have no right to let down the people of India this is what we have done by taking the easy way out through a questionable method of self-certification," he said taking a dig at Gurumurthy's clean chit.
Reacting on Sinha's demand BJP Chief Spokesperson Ravi
Shankar Prasad told reporters, "Sinha is a senior leader of the party and all forums of the party are available to him. The party considers the statement issued by Sinha (demanding the resignation) as inappropriate.
"The party would appeal to him to reconsider his stand." Sinha earlier said this is the time to stand up and be counted.
"I seek nothing for myself. I have nothing left to prove in my life. But, I want that each member of the BJP should be able to hold its head high as we have always done," he said.
The MP from Hazaribagh in Jharkhand said the party should continue to serve the people with pride and honour.
"We must ensure that the country comes out of the present morass of corruption and does not sink deeper in it. Our credentials must not be questioned in this fight against corruption."
"I would also like to put this question to the workers of the party and people at large. If I am wrong, please tell me so. If I am right, please support me in whatever way you can," he said.
Sinha said the highest standard of conduct set by leaders like Shyama Prasad
Mukherjee, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Atal Behari Vajpayee and L K Advani must be adhered to at all costs.
"The nation is in peril, our democracy is threatened and our future is far from perfect. The BJP must rise to the occasion and save the country," he said.
Let us say Gadkari resigns, but can Yashwant sinha or Jethmalani ensure that BJP can capitalise on this issue? If past record is anything to go by, the nincompoops in BJP will let Congress garner all the advantage. As pointed out by Nagaraj, all the bigwigs in Congress party and its allies in UPA face far more severe charges, but, thanks to friendly MSM, go scot free. As a saying in Kannada goes, Congress is looking for a dead fly in BJP's plate ignoring a dead donkey in its own.
This episode also highlights the unique advantages dynasty-controlled parties have over those with liberal democratic principles. BJP needs someone who can rule the party with a stern hand.
>> Hence appropriate thing for the BJP president to do is to disclose all the relevant information(a) the true owners of the shares in shell companies and (b) sources of funds of investments made in his main company, Purti Sugar and Power Ltd.
It has been disclosed by Gurumurthy on behalf of Gadkari. Now anyone who does not agree has the responsibility of refuting it.
With Mr. Yashwant Sinha’s demand of resignation from party president Mr. Nitin Gadkari inter-personal rivalries in BJP have come out in the open, one more time.
Basic question is why some should some one else other than Mr. Gadkari provide the information about the sources of funds invested in his shell companies? Mr. Gadkari should himself come forward with detailed information and individuals like Mr. S. Gurumurthy would not then be needed to defend Mr. Gadkari.
Citizens feel that probes take a long time. Income Tax department would not normally disclose its findings. The Ministry of Company Affairs too would not let citizens know whether the addresses of directors in various shell companies provided in the respective company’s statutory returns were indeed the right ones or bogus. Hence appropriate thing for the BJP president to do is to disclose all the relevant information(a) the true owners of the shares in shell companies and (b) sources of funds of investments made in his main company, Purti Sugar and Power Ltd. Once such information is disclosed, citizens would be able to decide whether a section of the media is making false allegations against Mr. Gadkari or indeed he is at fault. This disclosure would also put an end to demands for his resignation.
Mr Yashwant Sinha should see the issue of Gadkari from a broader perspective.Whereas Congress president Sonia Gandhi is starkly exposed in her Harald House corruption,there has been no demand from any section of the Congress party for her resignation as party president.The media is making a mountain of mis demeanour by Gakari in his business dealings.Nobody is talking about her 1600 crore loot and about her black money in the Swiss banks.While Gadkari has been open enough to offer himself for any enquiry,Sonia and Rahul are protected by the Congress party and the media.For a mere one lakh rupees Bangaru Laxman had to go jail for four years,But every party president across the political spectum,like Sonia,Mulayam,Lalu,Karunanidhi,Jayalalthaa,Mamatha,Sharad Pawar have corruption charges against them,none of them have resigned from their posts,Why only Gadkari should resign?As regards perceptions are concerned,even if Gadkari resigns,it will be trumpeted as a victory for Congress for exposing BJP corruption.Even in Karnataka whereas Yedyurappa was sent to jail,Congress leaders like S.M.Krishna,Dharam Singh are jolly well enjoying power.
>>gadkari has been a disaster for the BJP> THe sooner he goes the better.
While I agree with this, I do not agree with the view that he should go for the allegations made by the media. This will set a precedent, will be applied only to the BJP and the media will revel each time a BJP member is forced to step down for the witch hunt conducted by them.