As the Narendra Modi government prepares itself for the Opposition onslaught over ‘Lalitgate’ and the Vyapam scam issue, BJP veteran from Himachal Pradesh Shanta Kumar has dropped a letter bomb demanding a ‘Lokpal’ in the party to tackle the cases of corruption.
According to media reports on Tuesday, the lawmaker from Kangra has shot off a letter to BJP chief Amit Shah expressing grave concerns over the recent controversies and the scams involving the party leaders, which have dented the party’s image.
The 80-year-old lawmaker has pressed for setting up an “ethics committee” which should act like a Lokpal to root out corruption.
Shanta Kumar’s letter also mentioned that the Vyapam recruitment scam in the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh has “made us all bow our heads in shame.”
Referring to the Lalitgate controversy involving Rajasthan Chief Minister and corruption allegations against three party leaders in Maharashtra, Shanta Kumar suggested the need for an internal “Lokpal” to “keep a check on leaders in government.”
However, Kumar refrained from mentioning the names of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and senior Maharashra minister Pankaja Munde, who have been accused by the Opposition of wrong doing.
Shanta Kumar was a union minister in the BJP’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
He is believed to have written the letter on July 10, but posted it on Facebook just a day before the crucial Monsoon Session begins.
However, he refused to elaborate on his letter when quizzed by the reporters.
“I stand by every word I wrote in letter, don’t want to say anything else,” Kumar said to a TV news channel.
Shanta Kumar is the first BJP leader to publicly go against the official line of the party, which has brazenly defended its tainted ministers and has decided that it will aggressively counter the opposition’s attack on them.
Meanwhile, media reports claimed that the BJP high command has asked Shanta Kumar to “observe restraint” in view of his explosive letter to the party chief Amit Shah.
“Shanta Kumar ji is a mature leader but it seems he was influenced by Congress’s misinformation campaign, we reject this,” senior BJP leader RP Rudy was quoted as saying.