BJP veteran writes to Shah; demands internal ‘Lokpal’

RSTV Bureau
Shanta-Kumar

Veteran BJP leader Shanta Kumar at Parliament House during the monsoon session.

For the ruling Narendra Modi government, it is not just the Opposition which is taking them on over the issue of Lalit Modi controversy and ‘Vyapam’ scam, but trouble seems to be brewing inside too. In the first sign of discontent within the BJP, senior leader Shanta Kumar has written a letter to party chief Amit Shah demanding a Lokpal in the party to tackle the cases of corruption that has been lately troubling the BJP-led Central government.

The veteran leader from ‘Hindi heartland’ has claimed that a scam like ‘Vyapam’ has “made all of us bow our heads in shame”.

“I have written the letter and I stand by every word of it. Our party has made glorious achievements. It won with glory, formed government and ran it for a year with glory. After that stains have started to appear in places. With achievement, your head is held high. Stains cause pain in the heart,” Shanta Kumar told the press.

In his letter to Amit Shah, he also referred to allegations in “some states”, hinting at the controversy in Rajasthan surrounding Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over Lalit Modi issue and Maharashtra where the ruling BJP is battling allegations of corruption against BJP Ministers Pankaja Munde and Vinod Tawde.

File Photo- Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje  with former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi during an IPL match in Jaipur in 2008. (Photo-PTI)

File Photo- Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje with former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi during an IPL match in Jaipur in 2008. (Photo-PTI)

The 80-year-old former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh also pressed for setting up an “ethics committee” which should act like a Lokpal to “keep a check on leaders in the government”.

The two-page letter, written in Hindi and dated 10th July, was posted by the Kangra MP on his social network page of Facebook and a micro-blogging site Twitter accounts on Monday.

The octogenarian leader also drew reference from the political culture and ideology of Jan Sangh, which preceded the BJP. He said the emphasis was on “value-based politics” when Jan Sangh was formed.

“Gradually, we came to power, and became a ruling party…people started making compromises with those values, and here began the politics of power,” Shanta Kumar said in his letter to Amit Shah.

Kumar, however, praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Gujarat model’ of governance, which he said was an important factor for the overwhelming support the party received during the Lok Sabha polls.

“This was a historic victory under Narendra Modi because of his image and work in Gujarat,” he wrote.

(With inputs from the PTI)