BJP suspends Kirti Azad for “anti-party activities”

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: BJP MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad with veteran cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi during a press conference regarding DDCA in New Delhi, December 20, 2015. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: BJP MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad with veteran cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi during a press conference regarding DDCA in New Delhi, December 20, 2015.
Photo – PTI

BJP suspended its Lok Sabha MP Kirti Azad late on Wednesday, charging him with “anti-party activities”. Kirti Azad had publically criticised Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley over the issue concerning alleged irregularities in Delhi’s cricket body DDCA. Mr. Jaitley was at the helm of DDCA for 13 years, the period which Darbhanga MP alleged was plagued with “financial irregularities”.

“Kirti Azad, Darbhanga MP, is suspended from party with immediate effect for his anti-party activities,” the statement issued by the ruling BJP read.

Besides, a show cause notice has also been issued to him seeking explanation of his “anti-party conduct” that may ultimately decide his future in the party.

The DDCA controversy erupted last week after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came up with allegations against the Union Finance minister in a press conference in Delhi. Soon after, Azad too seconded those allegations in his own presser on Sunday.

The BJP MP and former cricketer even took his case inside the floor of Parliament pushing for a SIT probe in the alleged irregularities in the DDCA. Significantly, Azad spoke right after Jaitley had responded to the Congress party in Lok Sabha terming all the allegations as “baseless” and “wrong”. The principal opposition party has been demanding Jaitley’s resignation over the issue.

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley responds to debate in Rajya Sabha.  Photo - PTI

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley responds to debate in Rajya Sabha.
Photo – PTI

With Azad unrelenting and opposition not budging from its protest in Parliament, BJP cracked the whip hours after the Winter session of Parliament ended Wednesday afternoon.

Reacting to his suspension, Kirti Azad expressed dissapointment but kept his future plans close to his chest. “Wait and watch what I do next. Now I will tell everyone,” he said in his first reaction.

“I am really very saddened. I never thought that BJP would stoop to that level that a person who had joined them from an illustrious Congress family is suspended for fighting corruption,” Kirti Azad said, adding, “I will go to the margdarshak mandal and ask them that if a person speaks against corruption does the party crucify such a person and suspend him?”

Denouncing the charges of colluding with Opposition as “laughable”, the suspended BJP MP further added, “I haven’t teamed up with the Opposition. It is a matter of regret that Opposition has picked up the issue which I was raising”.

Rahul-Gandhi-1He has now sought Prime Minister Modi’s intervention in the issue.

“I hope the Prime Minister will listen to my plea and do justice. I will also ask margdarshak mandal to come forward and look into the issue,” Azad told reporters in Delhi early on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Congress party criticised the ruling party over this recent in-house developments.

“During election campaign, Modiji spoke about scams and said he would not allow corruption. But now scams are taking place and the latest is the cricket scam, and the MP who raised it has been suspended,” Congress party vice president told reporters on his way back to Delhi after a two-day visit to Amethi.

“Kirti Azad suspended by BJP. His crime? Raised issue of corruption in DDCA with facts…. Is this going to be the fate of all those in the BJP who raise issue of corruption? First Ram Jethmalani and now Kirti. Next Shatrughan Sinha?” Congress party General Secretary Digvijay Singh wrote on a micro-blogging site Twitter.

(With inputs from the PTI)