National

BJP suspends Kirti Azad; Congress, AAP back him

As soon as the winter session of Parliament ended, the BJP on Wednesday suspended its Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad, who has been making public statements that there was “corruption” in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) when Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was heading it.

The party issued a terse letter in the evening: “For anti-party activities, Shri Kirti Azad, MP, Darbhanga, is with immediate effect suspended from the party.”

But hours before the suspension, BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha tweeted in support of Mr. Azad and asked Mr. Jaitley to “come clean,” following the example of L.K. Advani, read by many as a hint at Mr. Advani’s resignation as MP when accused of involvement in the hawala scam.

Calling Mr. Azad “hero of the day,” Mr. Sinha — who has also embarrassed the BJP leadership when the Bihar Assembly polls were on — called upon the party not to punish him, cautioning that “untimely action could boomerang.”

Join us, says Congress

The Congress was quick to react to Mr. Azad’s suspension, virtually inviting him to join the party. “He should join the Congress. His father was a Congressman. Congress blood runs through his veins,” Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad said.

BJP’s real face is out, says Kirti Azad

The suspended BJP MP, Kirti Azad, told The Hindu that “I am happy that the real face of the BJP has come out though they claim to fight against corruption. Wait for my next move.”

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also tweeted in support of him. “There is no democracy in the BJP. Honest voices are muzzled to protect corruption,” he said.

In another tweet, he said Mr. Azad’s fault was to speak out against “corruption” and that the BJP had been “completely exposed” as a party ‘steeped in corruption’.

Mr. Azad’s public statements in the last few days had embarrassed many in the BJP, especially when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and some Cabinet Ministers had come out in support of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, against whom the AAP has launched a campaign over the Delhi and District Cricket Association controversy.

Mr. Jaitley has filed civil and criminal defamation cases against key AAP leaders, including Mr. Kejriwal.

Some BJP leaders indicated in the last two days that the party would take action after the session, as it did not want Mr. Azad to rake up the issue in Parliament and embarrass the government.

BJP must explain my anti party activities: Kirti Azad on suspension

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 5:04:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/BJP-suspends-Kirti-Azad-Congress-AAP-back-him/article10069396.ece

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