[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]f the BJP leadership had thought that placing party MP Kirti Azad under suspension will douse the fire of the DDCA scandal that threatens to singe the reputation of Finance minister Arun Jaitley, then the unfolding scenario has proved them squarely wrong.
While Kirti has remained defiant and asks Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tell him what wrong he has done by exposing corruption in the Delhi District Cricket Association, which Jaitley headed till 2013, then party veterans like L K Advani, Yashwant Sinha, M M Joshi and Shanta Kumar swung into action on Thursday to take stock of the situation. At the same time, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has also lent his support to Kirti Azad and questions the party’s decision to suspend him.
Bihari Babu Shatrughan Sinha, who is a fellow MP from Bihar, has also backed Azad and criticized the decision to suspend him for taking up the issue of corruption.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]here is a distinct impression in the political circles that the BJP stands divided over action against Azad as many leaders feel that by cracking the whip against him the party has compromised on its stand against corruption. The disclosure made by Azad in a recent press conference clearly shows that the DDCA is mired in major corruption. Even though Azad did not directly name Jaitley, but he dropped enough hints as to who was responsible for the brazen loot in the cricket body during the last 15 years or so.
Reacting to his suspension, Azad sought Modi’s intervention and hinted that he might initiate steps for a court-monitored probe against the Delhi cricket body.
Claiming that he has only highlighted corruption in the DDCA and not violated the party disciplines, Azad asked, “BJP and RSS always speak about uprooting corruption. We also talk about walking the path of Mahatma Gandhi. Thus, I wish that Narendra Modiji intervenes in this issue, goes deeper in it, and then tells me about what I have done wrong, as I need specific answers.”
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he rebel MP also alleged that the CBI was alerting the DDCA through notices after the files were “disappearing”.
“I request CBI not to issue notices (to DDCA), as files eventually disappear after such notices. If tomorrow I will go to court and demand a court-monitored inquiry in this case, then you will be in trouble,” said the BJP MP from Darbhanga in Bihar.
Even as the BJP veterans Advani, Joshi, Yashawant Sinha and Shanta Kumar — discussed Azad’s suspension, the rebel MP seemed to draw support from other quarters as well. Azad said that senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy will help him in drafting his reply to the suspension notice.
Swamy frowned at the party’s decision to suspend Azad wondering whether raising voice against corruption in the DDCA came within the purview of party discipline. “Kirti issues are 1 — is cricket affair within the purview of party discipline. 2 — due to SC case on BCCI, is party decision amenable in court,” Swamy twitted.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Margdarshak Mandal consisting of several veteran BJP leaders was set up after the Lok Sabha poll ostensibly to sideline Advani, Joshi and Sinha among others. These leaders had issued a scathing statement against the leadership after the Bihar poll debacle, but this time they might raise the matter of Azad’s suspension at the party for a review.
Saying that he has full “faith” in Prime Minister Modi and would expect him to do “justice,” Azad said,” “I never said anything against the party. I was only speaking against corruption in DDCA.”
“I hope the Prime Minister will listen to my plea and do justice. I will also ask Margdarshak Mandal to come forward and look into the issue,” he told reporters here.
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