Yashwant Sinha wants Gadkari to quit

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Old 20-Nov-2012
Yashwant Sinha wants Gadkari to quit

New Delhi: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha Tuesday demanded resignation of party chief Nitin Gadkari.

Gadkari has been under fire for the alleged irregularities in investments in his Purti Group.

“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,” Sinha who served as the finance and foreign minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, said.

Sinha has joined former law minister Ram Jethmalani who had earlier this month demanded Gadkari’s ouster. “The damage already caused is immense but may be mitigated with great effort. He [Gadkari] must be asked to resign forthwith. If we wait till Parliament is summoned, we will have betrayed the nation. History will not forgive us,” Jethmalani had said in his letter addressed to veteran leader L.K. Advani.

Jethmalani’s son Mahesh was the first to publicly demand Gadkari’s resignation and resigned from the national executive of the party saying he cannot work with Gadkari.

Sinha’s demand came just two day before Parliament meets for winter session from Thursday. While BJP overlooked gestures of Jethmalanis, there are indications that the party may deliberate disciplinary action against Sinha.

“Being the senior leader of the party, Sinha has all party forums available to him. His decision to go public is not right. The party requests him to reconsider and take his demand back,” BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said after a party meeting held last evening at Advani’s place to finalise the BJP strategy for the upcoming winter session.

Political observers feel Sinha joining Jethmalanis is part of a fight that has started to grab the BJP president’s post. Gadkari is slated to end his three year tenure in office in January next year. Although the BJP had earlier amended its constitution to allow its president to contest for a second consecutive term, chances of Gadkari being elected for a second term in office are unlikely as his continuation has diluted BJP’s anti-corruption plank which the party felt could propel it to power in 2014 general elections.

Corruption allegations against Gadkari have virtually split the party. Gadkari has survived due to backing of BJP’s ideological fountainhead Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh which had handpicked him in the first place to lead the party.

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