BJP sends notice to MLA Raj Purohit as sting leaves party red faced


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 DB.

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.

In the sting video, Purohit, who was a minister of state in the Shiv Sena-BJP government of 1995-1999 in Maharashtra, is purportedly shown as saying that builder-turned-MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha wields influence with the top rung of the BJP and RSS.

“Traders were fed up with the Congress’s policies and were expecting more from the BJP. But what laws have you made? If you want to buy gold worth over Re 1 lakh, you have to be a PAN card holder. When half the economy is being run on black money, if you compel traders to make PAN cards, their business will definitely be affected,” Purohit says.

He further says,”The Centre has come up with a bill to curb black money. It’s a policy contradiction. On one hand you allow foreign investment, and on the other you seek accountability for each and every rupee. The punishment of 10 years is the same as for culpable homicide. I sit among the top traders of the country. No one is happy with the policy.”



Asmaa Mubita is a Kenyan journalist of international repute with over fifteen years of experience in broadcast journalism. Asmaa Mubita began his journalism career at the Kenyan state broadcaster (KBC) and later worked at the KTN owned by the Standard Group and Citizen Television, the flagship brand of Royal Media Services. These exploits together with his reporting experience with the Voice of America, CNN and BBC have been rewarded with local and global recognition.