Former BJP minister’s revelations invite showcause notice

Mumbai, June 27 (IANS) The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday slapped a showcause notice on former minister Raj Purohit for his purported utterances, captured in a sting operation, showing the party and its leaders in a bad light.

The notice has been served on Purohit asking him to explain his position on the CDs’ contents which were telecast by several television channels on Friday.

“In these CDs telecast since June 25, it appears that you have made certain objectionable statements on the party and its leaders. This is tantamount to breach of party discipline,” the notice said.

Purohit has been ordered to furnish his explanation within three days, failing which disciplinary action would be initiated against him, the notice warned.

The communication came a day after state BJP president Raosaheb Danve took strong exception to the Mumbai legislator’s statements.

“I have summoned him for personal discussions on the matter. We will first inquire about the genuineness of the video CDs and then the party would take appropriate action,” Danve assured.

Purohit has claimed, however, that the voice in the CDs is not his and he has sought a forensic investigation to determine the CDs’ genuineness.

Friday’s sting on the influential legislator, who was a minister in the Shiv Sena-BJP government of 1995-1999, was carried out by unidentified people.

“I have greatest respect for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is an ideal leader under whom the state is on the route to progress,” Purohit said in a statement late Friday.

Purohit’s no-holds barred “mann ki baat” in the videos shows him raising questions on the style of functioning of Modi and Shah, and Fadnavis’s alleged nexus with the builders’ lobby.

He also raised doubts on the efficacy of the move to unearth black money that has distanced the business community.

“There is no collective decision-making in the BJP… It’s a fraud (dhokha)… Modi and Shah are the two power centres in the country… Such a democracy is meaningless,” Purohit said.

Dismissing the allegations as “gossip”, Lodha Group head and BJP state vice-president M. P. Lodha said this was the outcome of Purohit’s lack of political success.

Lodha said in a statement that his family had built up the realty business over 35 years and not only the party (BJP), but the people, too, have faith in their honesty.

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