Mumbai: The BJP in Maharashtra today issued show cause notice to party MLA Raj Purohit and sought his response within three days over a sting operation video, purportedly showing him making caustic comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah.
The party said that Purohit’s action “breached” organisational discipline, and asked him to reply to its state president Raosaheb Danve within three days, failing to which action would be taken against him. “Purohit, a former minister and MLA from Colaba in Mumbai, has been asked to explain his position and give a written explanation within three days,” a BJP spokesperson told PTI.
The video clip, aired by some channels and also uploaded on a few websites, has left the BJP red-faced, at a time when the party is under attack from its rivals at the Centre and in Maharashtra.
In the video, Purohit is shown to agree with the interviewer, whose identity is unknown, that Modi and Shah are the only ones wielding power in the party and there is no internal democracy in the BJP.
On the Centre’s policies, he was shown saying that “Narendra-bhai is doing good work, but he should avoid the mistakes he is making. Some of his decisions are alienating certain groups likes traders, who are the BJP’s hardcore supporters.
“People talk of collective leadership, but it is simply absent. This is a dangerous sign for the party,” he purportedly said. He is also heard describing Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as “helpless” in the face of “pressure from above” and from influential individuals like builder and Malabar Hill MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha and ridiculing Raj Thackeray as a “bogus” leader.
The sting also shows Purohit claiming that he is the senior most BJP leader after Eknath Khadse (Excise Minister) in the state and “should have been made a minister”. Purohit has claimed that the voice in the video was not his. He has demanded that the video be sent for forensic testing.
Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar told reporters in Aurangabad that Purohit episode only reflected the general sentiment of many of the BJP legislators. “The sentiments which a senior BJP legislator like Raj Purohit has expressed, is shared by many in that party,” Pawar said.