By invoking Advani, has the PM signaled Jaitley to quit?

By invoking Advani, has the PM signaled Jaitley to quit?
By invoking Advani, has the PM signaled Jaitley to quit?

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he BJP has closed ranks behind beleaguered Finance minister Arun Jailtey, who is in the line of fire of the Congress and Aam Admi Party over the massive scandal in the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) under his tenure as President between 1999 and 2013.

A day after Party president Amit Shah came in support of Jaitley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence on the raging controversy and said Jaitley will come out of the scandal unscathed just like L K Advani did in the Hawala scam. The PM made this comment in the BJP’s parliamentary party meeting where BJP MP Kirti Azad was not present.

His reference to Advani has left tongues wagging in political circles as the BJP patriarch had resigned from the Lok Sabha in 1996 and returned only after he got a clean chit in the Jain Hawala scandal.

CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said as much when he insisted that the Prime Minister has signaled Jaitley to resign following the DDCA controversy citing the example of L K Advani in the Hawala case.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]”B[/dropcap]y drawing a parallel with Advani, the Prime Minister is giving a hint to Arun Jaitley that he should resign, get himself cleared and come back. I read it as a signal to Jaitley that you also do the same thing”, he told reporters.

Meanwhile, sources said that the BJP is likely to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Azad after the end of the winter session of parliament on Wednesday. To start with the party may place him suspension and serve show cause notice against him, asking him to explain why he was hobnobbing with the Congress and AAP leaders over the DDCA scandal.

The first demand for action against Azad came from the Bihar unit of the BJP. Kirti is a three-term MP from Bihar’s Darbhanga Lok Sabha constituency. “BJP should take disciplinary action against Kirti Azad and some other MPs for embarrassing the party and playing into the hands of the opposition,” Senior BJP leader Sushil Modi tweeted.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]”B[/dropcap]ihar BJP is solidly behind @arunjaitley (sic). Te party should not hesitate in taking action against disgruntled elements,” he said.
Azad’s reported meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi – a charge Jaitley has repeatedly leveled – has embarrassed the BJP, which much act against the rebel MP to silence those who are claiming that Azad enjoys support from a section of the party leadership itself. The cold war between Jaitley and several top BJP leaders have given rise to such speculations.

While asserting that Jaitley will come out with “fly colours”, the Prime Minister charged the Congress with leveling “wrong and manufactured” allegations to “defame” the government. Modi also asked the party MPs to educate the people about the Congress “mechanism” and expose the nefarious design of the Opposition parties to tarnish the image of the Government.

“The Prime Minister gave the example of L K Advani. The government at that time tried to implicate him in the Hawala case. Advani came through with flying colours and the strategy of Congress boomeranged. Same thing is going to happen regarding allegations against Jaitley… Congress is inventing issue to defame the government,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after the meeting.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]N[/dropcap]aidu quoted Modi as having said that the Congress leveled similar “wrong’ charges against BJP leaders like Sushma Swaraj, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vasundhara Raje.

Interestingly, Advani had resigned from Lok Sabha in 1996 when his name cropped up in the Jain Hawala case in which his name allegedly figure din “tainted’ diary of briber receivers. Advani returned to parliament only after the CBI failed to prove the charges against the BJP leader.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]R[/dropcap]eacting to the PM’s clean chit to Jaitley, noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani said Advani won in the Hawala case because he defended him in the Court, but this time things will be different because he will prosecute Jaitley in the defamation case filed against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

“Mr L K Advani had Ram Jethamalani (as his lawyer). Now Arun Jaitley is to be prosecuted by me. You take it,” he said, adding “I don’t make secret of the fact that I don’t like Arun Jaitley.”

On being asked whether the Delhi government has powers to appoint a Commission of Inquiry into the affairs of the DDCA, Jethmalani said “I believe that sports and operations of the cricket body are completely within the jurisdiction of Delhi government.”

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