Rebel BJP MP Kirti Azad formally joined the Indian National Congress on Monday and addressed a press conference in which he alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim of fighting corruption is nothing more than jumla (empty rhetoric) and called the BJP a party without internal democracy.
“I started repenting about being in the BJP. I felt politically orphaned and decided on a ghar wapsi (return home),” Mr. Azad told reporters.
His late father Bhagwat Jha Azad was not only a tall Congress leader but also a former Chief Minister of Bihar.
“There is no internal democracy left in the BJP. Just by getting members through social media doesn’t make it the largest party…The only thing I heard in the last five years was jumla ,” he said.
Though he initially believed Prime Minister Modi’s assertion about fighting corruption, he said “the faces behind the mask started to come out.”
The former cricketer said that when he raised the “₹400 crore scam in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA)” with documents to back his claims, he was ‘back-stabbed’ by the party.
“What happened to Modi’s calls of na khaunga, na khane dunga (I won’t indulge in corruption nor allow anyone to do so)? I realised that too was jumla ,” he said.
Mr. Azad called the Rafale issue the country’s “biggest defence scam” and claimed that even BJP MPs feel there is a scam.
Targeting the Prime Minister over the Pulwama terror attack, he sought to remind Mr. Modi of his promise of bringing “10 Pakistani heads for one head of an Indian soldier.”
“Wherever I go, people ask me what happened to the black money which Modi promised to bring back. Youth ask me what happened to the 2 crore jobs which he promised to give every year. And I have no answers,” he said.
Mr. Azad, who represents the Darbhanga Lok Sabha constituency of Bihar, was inducted into the party in the presence of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Asked if he would be contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha poll from Darbhanga, Mr. Azad said he will perform any role the party assigns him.
Mr. Azad was suspended by the party in 2015 for alleging ‘corruption’ in the DDCA which was then headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.