Jethmalani, who technically continues to be a member of the BJP as he has only resigned from the party National Executive, reportedly wrote in his letter to Gadkari that it is "morally and intellectually inappropriate to serve BJP as long as you are president".
The letter was leaked to the media before it reached Gadkari and other senior leaders.
Reacting to the issue, BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, "I have not seen the letter and do not know about its contents. But BJP is perhaps the largest party in terms of number of members and if every member takes such a letter to the media it would cause much damage to the party. This is not in the interest of the party."
He said it would have been better if Jethmalani had seen to it that the letter was delivered only to Gadkari.
Rudy defended Gadkari, saying he has already submitted himself to an inquiry. However, Rudy added a caveat that the probe against the BJP president is being conducted by the Congress government which is "hostile" and would "not be pleased" to give him a clean chit.
Asked if Jethmalani had taken this step to build pressure on Gadkari to quit, Rudy said, "There is no question of any pressure." He maintained that the allegations against Gadkari have already been debated inside the party.