New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) In a blow to the BJP, well Known lawyer and BJP leader Ram Jethmalani said Nitin Gadkari must resign as the BJP president as graft charges against him are against the party's anti-corruption stand.
The government also said it may probe corruption charges against BJP chief Nitin Gadkari after the party said "any competent authority" can inquire into the allegations against him.
"We will inquire if there are any violations," Corporate Affairs Minister M. Veerappa Moily told NDTV channel.
Moily's comments came after media reports Tuesday revealed that an infrastructure company IRB gave a Gadkari company a loan of Rs.165 crore, two years after IRB was awarded road contracts by Gadkari when he was the Maharashtra PWD minister.
Earlier, India Against Corruption had accused the BJP leader of land grab in Vidarbha in Maharashtra, an allegation he denied.
The BJP denied the latest charges. "The allegations are baseless. The party president has said any competent authority can probe the charges," said Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman.
Gadkari is likely to get a second term as BJP president and lead the party in the 2014 general elections.
Congress spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit said: "He is the BJP president. It is for the BJP to decide what kind of a president, with what kind of reputation and business issues it wants. This is an internal issue of the party. We leave it to them."
But another Congress spokesperson, Rashid Alvi, called "it a serious matter" and said Gadkari should personally clarify as anothe former chief of his party, Bangaru Laxman, had also faced corruption charges.
On its part, the IAC blasted both the BJP and the Congress.
IAC member Kumar Vishwas said: "Both the Congress and BJP are the same" (on the issue of corruption).
"Congress-BJP bhai bhai, desh ki malai loot ke khai (The Congress and the BJP are like brothers, both have looted the country)," he said.