Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

BJP distances itself from MP’s suggestion­s to clean up party mess

- HT Correspond­ent letters@hindustant­imes.com

NEW DELHI: The BJP reprimande­d a veteran lawmaker on Tuesday after he left the ruling party red-faced at the beginning of Parliament’s monsoon session with a letter to its president, Amit Shah, saying a series of scandals had dented the government’s image.

Senior BJP leaders urged Lok Sabha MP Shanta Kumar to show restraint and blamed him for getting carried away with “Cong ress propaganda” after he demanded an ombudsman like Lokpal in the party to tackle cases of corruption. “We were celebratin­g the momentous achievemen­ts of our first year in power when suddenly a dark shadow loomed on us,” the 80-year-old wrote in the letter dated July 10 that was leaked to the media on Monday.

Sources say the former union minister is among several BJP veterans who are feeling left out with Amit Shah and PM Modi at the helm of affairs.

The sign of discontent within the party comes at a time when it is battling a barrage of Opposition criticism over the Vyapam scam. It is also facing flak in the Lalit Modi controvers­y.

Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters in Delhi that the party disassocia­ted itself from Kumar’s statements. “We generally consider Shanta Kumar a very mature leader,” he said. “But it seems that he has been carried away by the propaganda of the Congress.”

› 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 SHANTA KUMAR, Lok Sabha MP and senior BJP leader

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