DDCA issue: BJP suspends Kirti Azad, Amit Shah says ‘You sided with Cong, AAP to embarrass us’

Kirti Azad was sacked by the BJP for accusing Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of corruption during his tenure as DDCA chief.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: December 24, 2015 8:16 am
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Three days after he went public by targeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over alleged irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), BJP MP Kirti Azad, a former India cricketer, was suspended Wednesday for “anti-party activities” with party president Amit Shah telling him he had “colluded with Opposition parties including the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party with the sole purpose of embarrassing the party and its office bearers”.

That the party had made up its mind to suspend Azad was first reported by The Indian Express Tuesday.

Hours after the winter session of Parliament concluded, the BJP issued a one-line statement: “Kirti Azad, Darbhanga MP, is suspended from party with immediate effect for his anti-party activities.”

Watch Video DDCA row: BJP Suspends Kirti Azad

In a letter to Azad informing him about the BJP parliamentary board’s decision to suspend him from the primary membership of the party, Shah said: “Over the past few months, you have breached the discipline of the party and conducted anti-party activities. You have colluded with the Opposition parties, including the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, with the sole purpose of embarrassing the party and its office bearers.”

“You have made several statements in the media… which constitute anti-party activities and such unfounded statements and allegations were clearly intended to bring disrepute to the party and its office bearers. Your actions have also resulted in lowering the prestige of the party and its office bearers. You have deliberately embarrassed the party and its office bearers by raising these in public domain. You have acted and carried on propaganda against the decisions of the party,” Shah wrote to Azad.

Azad remained unfazed. Speaking to The Indian Express on phone from Ahmedabad, Azad said he will continue his “crusade against corruption in sports and sports bodies”.

Describing the BJP’s charges against him as “unfair”, Azad said: “How can raising issues of corruption become anti-party activism? Is it not unfair to blame me without even looking into the charges I have raised? Many have raised corruption in IPL and BCCI? Will they term them as anti-party?”

“To say that I have colluded with other Opposition parties shows their stupid mindset. I had been raising this issue since long. I joined the party in 1993. How can they suspend me today for this reason?”

He dismissed speculation that he would join another party soon. “This is a propaganda to divert attention from the issues I raised.”

He said he would file a PIL in the Delhi High Court on the alleged irregularities in the DDCA because the CBI is “moving very slow”.

Azad held a press conference last Sunday, highlighting alleged corruption in the DDCA which Jaitley headed for 13 years until 2013. Party sources said Azad went ahead with the press conference despite being cautioned by Shah. He stunned the party again when he spoke on the DDCA matter in Lok Sabha and took another swipe at Jaitley.

Earlier, speaking to reporters in Ahmedabad, Azad said: “Sacking of a person whose father was the Chief Minister of Bihar, who did not want his son to be a Union Minister despite opportunities, is unfortunate for the party.”

According to BJP sources, Azad had been asked by Shah and party general secretary Ram Lal not to join the Congress and AAP chorus against Jaitley. “By raising the issue vociferously, he gave ammunition to the Opposition to attack the government and caused disruptions in Parliament,” a senior leader said.

The party, the leader said, also took note of Azad’s tweet challenging Jaitley to file defamation charges against him as well on the day the Finance Minister went to court against AAP leaders

BJP sources indicated that there could also be action against actor-MP Shatrughan Sinha who has been issuing statements against the party. Sinha has openly supported Azad. He tweeted Wednesday: “KirtiAzad-hero of the day. Humble appeal to friends.Avoid knee jerk reaction/coercive action against friend who’s fighting against corruption.”

“Have often quoted Newtons 3rd Law. Feel that untimely action cud boomerang. Sadly-Party with a Difference has become Party with Differences…As for FM, issue shud be fought politically not legally. As advised by our dashing dynamic PM, our FM cud follow Advanijis eg & come clean,” he tweeted.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also slammed the BJP for sacking Azad saying the party stands exposed today.

There is demand for Jaitley’s resignation as Union Minister following charges of corruption against him.

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