Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national executive member Jagadish Shettigar on Saturday demanded that party chief Nitin Gadkari, who is facing sharp criticism in the wake of charges of dubious funding of his Purti Group, should step down from his post.
"Gadkari is also a swayamsewak (RSS worker) whose 'dharma' is to protect the interest of the country first and then protect the interest of the organisation. So, I am sure being a Swayamsewak as per the conscience he will take the best step in the overall interest of the country and the organisation," he said.
Citing the example of BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani who had stepped down when allegations were levelled against him in the Hawala case, Shettigar said Gadkari should step down till the process of investigations is completed.
He also refused to comment on the clean chit given to Gadkari by RSS ideologue S. Gurumurthy
The BJP had earlier this week given a clean chit to Gadkari, saying the party has full faith in the latter's leadership.
The decision was taken after a crucial meeting of the BJP that was held in the backdrop of allegations of financial impropriety against Gadkari in the running of his Purti Group.
According to reports, S. Gurumurthy, who is a well-known chartered accountant and considered close to the RSS, made an exhaustive presentation on the legal implications of the allegations against Gadkari's business deals. He convinced the party leaders that there was no substance in the allegations.
Lashing out at Gadkari over allegations of graft against him, veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani had earlier demanded that the former should resign as the BJP President without any further delay, pending the probe into the allegations.
Jethmalani, who openly challenged Gadkari's continuance as BJP President, said top leaders within the party are of this opinion in the wake of corruption charges levelled against the latter. (ANI)