BJP losing moral ground in fight against corruption: Jethmalani

NEW DELHI: A defiant Mr Ram Jethmalani on Wednesday disapproved the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) core group backing Mr Nitin Gadkari, saying the party is losing moral ground in the fight against corruption.

“It is a betrayal of the people,” Mr Jethmalani, Rajya Sabha MP and noted lawyer, said in a written statement in response to Tuesday’s decision of the BJP core group to support Mr Gadkari’s continuation as the party president.
Mr Jethmalani, who spearheaded the public revolt against Mr Gadkari, made known his unhappiness with the party leadership ignoring his advice that Mr Gadkari must resign in the wake of allegations of dubious transactions involving his company.
“In the course of my fight against corruption, which may even turn out to be a lone fight, I will find it necessary to call for resignation of many persons holding important political and public offices,” Mr Jethmalani said. “In this respect the party’s decision has sapped my vitality...I wish good luck to Mr Gadkari, Sh Gurumurthy and the members of the core group,” he said sarcastically in his statement.
Reacting to party’s appeal to all its leaders and workers not to air such views in public which hurt the image of the party, Mr Jethmalani said, “The gag order does not apply to me. It applies to senior leaders. I am not a leader of the party much less a senior leader.
I do propose, however, not to speak about this Gadkari affair anymore, except that it’s my duty to warn the party that it is losing moral ground and emasculating the party’s strength to fight the war against corruption.”
Earlier Mr Jethmalani said he will carry on his fight against the BJP president but will not quit the party. “I will carry on my fight alone if necessary, whatever the BJP might decide...I won’t resign from the party, because I want to carry on the fight. Why should I?” he said when asked if he was considering resigning from the party after Mr Gadkari got a reprieve following RSS support.
Mr Jethmalani, however, left it to the BJP leadership to decide on whether to allow Mr Gadkari to continue. “They are respectable people, they hear everything what is happening in the press. It is for them to decide,” he said. He said RSS ideologue, Mr S Gurumurthy had promised to send the documents relating to Mr Gadkari’s company to him with an explanatory note. Sources close to him said the documents are yet to reach him. “He also promised that Gadkari will be willing to answer questions that you have to ask and he will come to you and answer those questions,” the eminent lawyer said.
Mr Jethmalani, who had created ripples on Tuesday by publicly demanding Mr Gadkari’s resignation and raised serious questions over his continuance as party chief, had demanded seeing the documents on which Mr Gurumurthy was trying to convince him that allegations against Mr Gadkari were baseless.