Poonam Azad, wife of suspended BJP MP, Kirti Azad, on Sunday joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). 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.
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Immediately after she joined the party in the presence Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and others senior leaders, AAP said Poonam will play a key role in upcoming Assembly elections in Punjab. On her part, Poonam said she saw a bright future for youths in AAP and held Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley responsible for her quitting the BJP. Her husband Kirti Azad had launched a bitter attack on Jaitley over alleged corruption in DDCA during the Minister’s tenure as its head.
Earlier in the day, Poonam met Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Welcoming her to AAP, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Poonam has been a champion for aam admi’s rights and has been fighting the issues of people. Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said Poonam will play an important role in the upcoming Punjab assembly election.
“Poonam Azad will play an important in the upcoming Punjab polls and after discussions she will be given an important responsibility in the party,” Singh said. After joining the party, Poonam said, “I see a future, especially for the youth, in AAP. The reason why I quit BJP is because we were mistreated by Arun Jaitley. He did not give us poll tickets despite promising many times. Also, my husband, Kirti Azad, was suspended when he raised his voice against corruption. BJP is maintaining a dual stand,” she alleged, adding she does not support the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes as common people are suffering because of it.
Earlier, talking to The Indian Express, Kirti Azad said “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.”
“She was denied ticket in the last two assembly polls only because a senior BJP leader had reservations against the family. Even her son was denied ticket of MCD election,” a close aide of Poonam Azad said.
“In the fight for self respect, she finally choose the AAP,” he added. Kirti Azad, elected to the Lok Sabha from Darbhanga in Bihar, was suspended by the BJP after he spoke against corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) when it was headed by now Finance Minister and BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley.