Most BJP leaders supported when I raised issues: Shanta Kumar

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shanta Kumar has said that most of the party leaders “were with me” on the issue of Vyapam and Sushma Swaraj-Vasundhara Raje episodes.

In an interview to India Today television channel, the former Himachal Pradesh chief minister said three of the BJP ministers actually congratulated him for taking up the issue with BJP party chief Amit Shah, and appreciated that he took up something which they also wanted to speak on but felt scared to.

“Three of the ministers said that you did good work,” he said while terming as “false” the media reports suggesting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to him.

Kumar, who denied reports that Modi had ticked him off for his July 10 letter to the party president, said he has not spoken to the prime minister since writing that letter.

The BJP leader also said the Vyapam scam and allegations against Raje needed to be thoroughly investigated. “I did not ask for resignation (of Raje), it needs to be probed,” he said.

On the BJP, Kumar said, it used to be a party with a difference but now the difference has diminished and eroded.

“When I wrote that letter, and even now, I believe that these incidents (controversies involving Swaraj, Raje and Chouhan) have damaged the image of the BJP,” he said, and added that something should be done to arrest any further damage.

He also emphasised that the BJP “must introspect” on the issue.

On Swaraj, Kumar said if what she told to the BJP parliamentary committee was correct, there was no need for her to resign.

Asked if she should resign, he said he did not know the facts and hence could not comment on the issue.

On his interview to a website in April 2002, in which he had said that if he were Narendra Modi he would have quit after the Gujarat killings, Kumar said he still maintains that view.

“It was an assessment based on my conscious. But in 2014 before the general elections it was I who said that Narendra Modi should lead the party in elections and be made candidate for prime ministership,” he said.

Asked if he felt disappointed at the current state of affairs in the BJP, Kumar said he is a “well-wisher” and wants it to remain “the party with difference”.

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