New Delhi, Dec 21: Cracking the whip against dissidents in Gujarat, the Central BJP leadership today issued show-cause notices to former chief Minister Keshubhai Patel and former BJP state President Kashiram Rana and suspended Mr Somabhai Patel and Mr Vallabh Bhai Katheria (both MPs) for anti-party activities.
BJP President Rajnath Singh in his order gave a week's time to them to clarify their positions. He said he had learnt from newspapers and TV channels that they tried to damage the party's prospects in the just Concluded Assembly elections through their various public statements. Mr Singh said their action amounted to anti-party activities and flouting of the party's discipline.
The disciplinary action comes barely two days ahead of the counting of the ballots on December 23.
While Mr Somabhai Patel and Mr Kathiria have also been suspended from the primary membership of the party, Mr Kashiram Rana and Mr Keshubhai Patel were served with show-cause notices, charging them with indulging in activities which were against the party discipline. In separate communications to all the four leaders, the party informed that they would soon be receiving a detailed charge sheet, and asked them to reply within a week's time failing which the party would initiate disciplinary action against them.
In a letter to Mr Keshubhai Patel, issued by BJP General Secretary Vinay Katiyar, the party said it had learnt from newspapers and TV channels that he had made statements during the election campaign damaging the party's prospects which indirectly helped the political opponents of the BJP.
"Political opponents of the BJP also used your anti-party statements in the form of advertisements in newspapers," the statement said.
The letter to former Textiles Minister Kashiram Rana referred to his alleged statement on TV channels and newspapers that there was a wave for change in Gujarat which clearly implied that the BJP government would lose the election.