The BJP on Wednesday said former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand, accused of rape by a law student of his college, is no longer a member of the party.
"He is not a member of the BJP," party spokesperson Harishchancdra Srivastava told PTI.
The spokesperson, however, was not forthcoming about since when Chinmayanand has ceased to be the member of the BJP.
"All our records are now digitised and so we cannot tell from when he has not been a member of the party," he said.
Chinmayanand was elected to the 13th Lok Sabha from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh as a BJP candidate in 1999 and had been a minister of state for home in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led BJP government. He had won general elections from Badaun in 1991 and from Machhlishahr in 1998.
After the controversy erupted, no BJP leader has come forward to extend any kind of support to Swami Chinmayanand, who has been in judicial custody since Friday. Even the Akhara Parishad, the prominent body of seers, is set take a decision on expulsion of Swami Chinmayanand from the body at its meeting in Haridwar on October 10.
Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) president Narendra Giri has told PTI, "In most of the cases like this, the seer is expelled from the Akhara Parishad until he is proven innocent."
Giri said that the 72-year-old Swami Chinmayanand belonged to the Prayagraj-based Mahanirvani Akhara.
Last year, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had ordered withdrawal of a rape and kidnapping case lodged against Chinmayanand by a disciple and manager of Mumukshu Ashram run by him.
However, the chief judicial magistrate, district court, Shahjahanpur, had stalled the withdrawal proceedings after objections from the victim. The manager of the Mumukshu Ashram had filed an FIR against Chinmayanand on November 30, 2011, alleging that she was held captive, raped and assaulted for several years.