Kirti Azad’s wife leaves BJP for AAP: ‘Matter of self respect’

Poonam had contested on a BJP ticket against former Congress CM Sheila Dikshit in the 2003 Delhi assembly polls.

Written by Sweta Dutta | New Delhi | Published:November 9, 2016 4:25 am
kirti azad, kirti azad wife, poonam kirti azad,poonam azad aap, aap. aap kirti azad, bjp news, aap news, india news Poonam Azad in Delhi, Tuesday. (Express Photo: Prem Nath Pandey)

Poonam Azad, wife of BJP MP from Darbhanga Kirti Azad, decided to join the AAP Tuesday. Poonam will be officially inducted into the party on Sunday.

Azad told The Indian Express, “I had already persuaded her once to stay back in the party. This time, if I again tried doing that, a case of exploitation of women could have been registered against me.”

He added, “My wife has given several years to the BJP, but there was no recognition of her work, so she has decided for herself.”

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Azad was suspended by the BJP last year after he levelled allegations of corruption against senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley. Azad had released documents alleging rampant corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association during Jaitley’s tenure as the sports body chief. The issue was later taken up by the AAP, which demanded Jaitley’s resignation.

Poonam had contested on a BJP ticket against former Congress CM Sheila Dikshit in the 2003 Delhi assembly polls. Sources close to her claimed she had put up a tough fight, but was later ignored by the party, especially after Azad starting flagging corruption cases against BJP leaders.

“It had become a matter of self respect for me… AAP is giving me respect. They are doing good work for Poorvanchalis. Their Chhath preparations were better than any government’s in the past. As for my decision to leave the BJP, I will talk about that once I join AAP on Sunday,” she said.

On the BJP’s actions in Delhi, Azad said, “If I were BJP, I would have fought AAP politically and not used state instruments like the Lieutenant Governor and Delhi Police against them. After all, it is a popular government.”

Azad said he had no plans to join AAP. “I have not parted ways with the BJP. They have suspended me. Let me please clarify this. As for opportunities, there are several of them but I am not considering any of those right now… I had been raising issues within the party for 15 years but it was only after I started talking about the corruption cases against Jaitley that action was initiated against me. I want to know what is anti-party in doing so?”

“We are working out a position of responsibility for her. As for why she has decided to join our party and her disillusionment with the BJP, she will discuss everything on Sunday,” senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said.