The senior party leader had also demanded Congress leader Venod Sharma’s resignation when his son, Manu Sharma, was implicated in the Jessica Lal murder case in 1999.

With the BJP left red-faced by the Chandigarh stalking incident involving party state president Subhash Barala’s son, veteran party leader Om Prakash Grover has urged Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to secure Barala’s resignation.

Nearly two decades ago, Grover demanded the resignation of the then Congress state president Venod Sharma, whose son Manu Sharma was convicted in the 1999 Jessica Lal murder case.

Grover, who was the state party president at the time, had demanded Sharma’s resignation on moral grounds, and believes that the BJP should now uphold its “high values”. The longer Barala stays in the party, the more the party would be insulted, said the octogenarian. He has already communicated his disapproval over retaining Barala to the chief minister.

“On moral grounds, he should resign, and if he chooses not to resign voluntarily, he should be sacked from the post. The party should not be mocked at because of one person. We have been a party with high values and we have upheld them,” Grover, who is a permanent invitee in the state unit, said.

Khattar, who was an organisational secretary in the party when Grover was nominated the state president by Narendra Modi, has, however, maintained that Barala has nothing to do with the “individual incident”. “The accused will face action if found guilty,” the chief minister said.

Sources in the party said that a decision on Barala’s fate would be known only after the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat on Tuesday. “The national president is occupied with the Rajya Sabha elections, and only after tomorrow any decision is likely,” a senior leader said.

Within the party, however, there are no clear indications on Barala’s fate yet. Anil Jain, in-charge of Haryana, said that no action on Barala is likely. The law will take its own course in the case, he added.

In contrast, BJP MP Rajkumar Saini, has already voiced his reservations against the party shielding Barala. His is not the lone voice demanding action against Barala. Senior party leaders say that the voices against Barala are growing.

Party president Amit Shah has sought a report on the incident, and any news of Barala’s resignation is inaccurate, said Rajiv Jain, in-charge of the BJP’s media cell in Haryana.


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