BJP seniors meet at Joshi’s residence; No statement yet

BJP leaders Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha after a meeting with senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi at his residence in New Delhi on Thursday, December 24, 2015. Photo - PTI

BJP leaders Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha after a meeting with senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi at his residence in New Delhi on Thursday, December 24, 2015.
Photo – PTI

A day after sitting BJP MP Kirti Azad was handed over the suspension for targeting Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley over the DDCA controversy, party veterans held deliberations on the issue. BJP veterans LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha met at Mr. Joshi’s residence in New Delhi early on Thursday to take up Azad’s suspension and issues relating to the party leadership.

Incidentally, the four veterans along with Arun Shourie had couple of months ago met and released a statement criticising current party leadership, two days after BJP suffered a big defeat in Bihar Assembly polls.

The veterans, who at their prime were insurmountable in the party hierarchy, however, kept away from issuing any statement detailing their deliberation.

Last time they had met on November 10, the veterans had come out strongly taking on the current leadership. BJP top brass and organisation was caught by surprise, after the veterans, two of them former national president of the BJP, had issued a public statement going on to say that “party has been emasculated in the last one year and was being forced to kowtow to a handful”.

But on Thursday, there were no public statements. The sources close to the leaders, however, confided that they will raise their issues at an “opportune time and forum”.

FILE: File Photo of BJP MP Kirti Azad. BJP suspended Azad on December 23, 2015 for anti-party activities.  Photo - PTI

FILE: File Photo of BJP MP Kirti Azad. BJP suspended Azad on December 23, 2015 for anti-party activities.
Photo – PTI

“It should be obvious, considering the background of the meeting,” Shanta Kumar said when being asked by the press if the issue of Kirti Azad’s suspension came up for discussion. Declining to divulge any further details, the former CM of Himachal Pradesh added “We met…We had tea” as he left after the meeting venue.

Post his suspension, Kiriti Azad had also sought intervention of the ‘margdarshak mandal’, which comprises LK Advani, MM Joshi, former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

The ‘margdarshak mandal’ was formed by BJP president Amit Shah after he took over the party reins. It has never met since its formation and was criticised as a move to sideline Advani and Joshi.

Lok Sabha MP from Darbhanga, Kirti Azad was suspended with “immediate effect” on Wednesday after he was charged with “anti-party activities”. Besides, the BJP had also served him with a show cause notice seeking explanation of his “anti-party conduct” that may ultimately decide his future in the party.

In a related development, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has questioned party’s move to suspend the Bihar MP, asking whether cricket fell within the purview of party discipline.

“Kirti issues are 1 — is cricket affair within the purview of party discipline. 2 — due to SC case on BCCI, is party decision amenable in court,” Swamy wrote on a micro-blogging site Twitter.

(With inputs from the BJP)