Ram Jethmalani, who had publicly rebelled last year against then party president Nitin Gadkari, has been expelled by the BJP for six years for "breach of discipline."
In a letter to Mr Jethmalani, senior BJP leader Ananth Kumar said the party's parliamentary board had taken a unanimous decision on Monday to expel him from primary membership of the party, after going through his explanations made in response to a show-cause notice.
"The central parliamentary board after considering all your replies, responses and letters was of the unanimous opinion that you have indulged in a breach of discipline. The parliamentary board, therefore, decided to expel you for a period of six years from the primary membership of the party," the letter said. (Read full letter)
Mr Jethmalani responded by saying that the BJP is determined to commit suicide. "By this stupid order of expulsion, the Party has committed suicide. It will only bring joy to our corrupt rulers and few of their corrupt collaborators within the Party. If you are determined to commit suicide, even the gods cannot salvage you," he said in a letter to party chief Rajnath Singh.
Mr Jethmalani had taken his opposition to Mr Gadkari continuing as party president public in November last year after allegations of corruption were made against the latter.
The BJP had suspended Mr Jethmalani and issued him the show-cause notice asking why he should not be expelled. Other BJP leaders too later spoke up against Mr Gadkari, resulting in him losing the chance to be made president of the party for an unprecedented second term.