BJP suspends Khurana

NEW DELHI — Beset by dissidence from all quarters, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) yesterday suspended party veteran Madan Lal Khurana, a one-time loyalist of BJP chief L.K. Advani, for his continued indiscipline.


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Published: Sun 21 Aug 2005, 10:56 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:14 PM

Khurana had simply gone too far, said BJP spokesperson Sushma Swaraj, hours after the former Rajasthan governor showed the media a letter he had written to Advani asking him to apologise for the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat and sought Gujarat Chief Minster Narendra Modi's resignation.

"He has gone public with his grievances...he has been raising issues through the media again and again, instead of using the party forum. It was getting too much," Swaraj told reporters, likening Khurana's relentless public outbursts to the Hindi saying of water rising above one's head.

While backing an anti-Modi delegation of Gujarat BJP leaders, Khurana — who last month asked Advani to quit as BJP chief and leader of opposition — had renewed his attack and said it would be impossible for him to continue under Advani's leadership.

Besides suspension, the party also issued him a show cause notice demanding an explanation for his anti-party statements within 15 days, failing which he would be expelled.

Swaraj said: "Everything depends on how (Khurana) replies to the notice. The final action of expulsion will be considered only after his reply." She said former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharati's suspension was revoked after she apologised.

Stung by Khurana's suggestion that he remonstrate like Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh apologised for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Advani took little time to punish Khurana and make an example out of him. Advani's row with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh over his remarks praising Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah gave Khurana an outlet for his festering resentment.

The former Delhi chief minister had been feeling slighted for a long time, ever since he was denied either a key role in the party or a place in the Rajya Sabha.

After giving television channels a field day with his no-holds-barred comments against the party chief, Khurana clammed up about his suspension. "Do you want more action against me?" a flustered Khurana told reporters pestering him for comments.

This was hours after he had squarely blamed the party government in Gujarat for the largely anti-Muslim sectarian bloodshed in 2002 while asserting that the Congress had redeemed itself for its role in inciting the 1984 anti-Sikh violence with Dr Singh's apology to the nation.

In his letter to Advani, Khurana urged him to do the right thing by apologising for the Gujarat violence — which the state's BJP government was widely accused of abetting — and removing Modi as chief minister. Khurana said: "It is not only I — even a Supreme Court judge has described Modi as Nero for his inability to check (the Gujarat reprisal killings triggered by the burning of 59 Hindu train passengers in Godhra town).

A BJP MP in Rajya Sabha also said the violence should have been controlled if action had been taken in four to eight hours."

He pointed out that union minister Jagdish Tytler also had to quit after he was named in the Nanavati panel report as one of the instigators of the mob attacks on Sikhs after Indira Gandhi's assassination on October 31, 1984.

"It is shameful that a person like Modi should continue in the post," Khurana wrote to Advani.

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