BJP MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad is giving as good as he gets from the BJP, slapping a point by point rebuttal to the party's show cause notice asking him why he should not be expelled. Azad is now taking the line that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley cannot seek “the shield of party discipline” in this matter.
Azad says he had been pursuing the issue of corruption in the DDCA for the past nine years and this is not at the behest of the BJP, The Hindu reports. He said that he had not “named Mr. Jaitley or any party person” in the issue and it was not the party’s assignment that Jaitley was carrying out as president of the DDCA.
“All three respected party presidents also realised that cricket had no connection with our party activities and Mr. Jaitley’s role in DDCA was his own concern. Not one office-bearer, apart from Mr. Jaitley, has reason to feel aggrieved by me or the cricketers’ (Bishan Singh Bedi and others) complaint of wrongdoings in DDCA,” the newspaper quotes Azad as saying. The Indian Express reports that Azad has built his entire defense around this single focus that he has not named Jaitley or any BJP elder in his allegations against the DDCA.
BJP gives Kirti Azad 10 days to show cause
Hours before the New Year, BJP slapped a show-cause notice on its suspended MP Kirti Azad, asking him to explain within 10 days why he should not be expelled from the party for "indiscipline" and "anti-party" activities.
BJP sources said the notice is a standard follow-up to suspension of a party leader and a decision on expulsion of Azad, who has continued to attack Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the Delhi cricket body (DDCA) affairs, will depend on his reply.
Sources close to the three-time Darbhanga(Bihar) MP said he was "ready" with his reply and will send it to the party headquarters tomorrow. Party leader Subramanian Swamy, who had earlier questioned his suspension, has "vetted" his reply, they said.
An undeterred Azad has continued to target Jaitley over the alleged corruption in Delhi and District Cricket Association and also attacked party MP and BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur besides Rajeev Shukla of Congress over alleged irregularities.
The show cause notice spells out his "anti-party" activities, including his demand of CBI probe in the Lok Sabha into the DDCA affairs and his continued allegations even though BJP and the government had refuted similar charges levelled by opposition parties like Congress and AAP.
In a letter to party chief Amit Shah soon after he was suspended on Decemebr 23, Azad had claimed that he was a loyal BJP soldier and had not done anything against the party.
He later insisted that he had committed no crime by raising the issue of corruption, which the party had pledged to fight resolutely.
BJP has accused him of "colluding" with Congress and AAP to bring the party and its leaders into "disrepute".
"You have colluded with opposition parties, including Congress and AAP, and embarrassed the party and its office bearers. You have both inside and outside Parliament conducted yourself in a manner which clearly amounts to indiscipline and anti-party activities...
"You have made several statements in the media which constitute anti-party activities and such unfounded allegations were clearly intended to bring the party and its office-bearers into disrepute. Your actions have also resulted in lowering the prestige of party and its office-bearers," the party had recorded while suspending him on December 23.
With PTI inputs