Panaji: Ram Jethmalani had failed to respond to a directive from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to explain his recent statements, leading to his expulsion, party vice president Smriti Irani said Tuesday.
"Jethmalani, upon being found to have indulged in indiscipline, was asked to explain himself. He failed to respond," Irani said, adding that this forced the party's parliamentary board to expel him.
The BJP vice president was speaking to reporters here for the first time after she was appointed in-charge of Goa ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Irani refuted allegations that the party was growing increasingly intolerant to internal dissent.
"The BJP has had an environment of dialogue. It is a very democratic set up," she said while defending the party's decision to expel the Rajya Sabha MP from the party's primary membership for six years for "breach of discipline".
A letter issued by the BJP to the octogenarian lawyer-politician said: "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."
Jethmalani had earlier been suspended from the BJP last year for making "anti-party remarks".