New Delhi: On Tuesday, Rajya Sabha member Ram Jethmalani again hit out at BJP president Nitin Gadkari along with Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj while declaring that he was ready to face expulsion from the party.
The noted lawyer also told the media that he had sent a letter to Gadkari that he would not be able to reply to the show cause notice served on him within 10 days and sought time till December 31.
Insisting that he had the right to speak freely on any issue, he said, "Opposition does not mean opposition for the sake of opposition. I am a man of common sense and intelligence. I have a right to express myself."
Jethmalani was served the formal notice on Monday and asked to explain why he should not be expelled from the Bharatiya Janata Party for "anti-party" activities.
A vocal critic of Gadkari, Jethmalani got into trouble vis-a-vis the BJP after he questioned the attack on the government by Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj over the appointment of a new CBI director, Ranjit Sinha.
On Tuesday, Jethmalani said that he stood by his defence of Sinha, adding it was a wise government decision.
"For a change, this PM has done a good job. (By appointing Sinha), he has stopped a tainted officer from taking up the job (of CBI director)," he said.
This, he said, could not be interpreted as a criticism of the two BJP leaders in the two houses of parliament. "Where is the question of assault on Jaitley and Sushma (Swaraj)?"
At the same time, he made a scathing attack on Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, saying he would not accept any unilateral order framed by them.
He also accused all three of them of damaging the BJP's interests by their conduct.
"I cannot account for their lack of wisdom," he said. "Even a Congress agent won't be able to do such work (to benefit the Congress).
"I am clear that their actions have enormously damaged the BJP's reputation, have caused irretrievable harm to the party. Today the common man says there is no difference between the Congress and the BJP."
Asked if he was targeting Gadkari, Jethmalani said, "All three of them, Gadkari in particular."
He defiantly added: "I am ready for expulsion."
But he said he was yet to get the show cause notice. "If there is something for me to reply, I will reply. Otherwise I will tear it and throw it away."
He said that it would not be possible for him to reply to the show cause notice within 10 days "as I am a busy lawyer, a busy politician...I have sought time till end of December," he said, adding, "I am well known in India, everyone knows I am a busy person."