Published On: Wed, Dec 23rd, 2015

BJP cracks whip, Kirti Azad suspended

New Delhi: Cracking the whip, BJP today suspended its MP Kirti Azad, who has been leading a campaign against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on alleged corruption in DDCA, charging him with anti-party activities and accusing him of “colluding” with Congress and AAP to bring it into “disrepute”.

Cracking the whip, BJP today suspended its MP Kirti Azad.

Cracking the whip, BJP today suspended its MP Kirti Azad.

The action of the BJP Parliamentary Board to suspend him from the party’s primary membership with immediate effect came three days after his press conference attacking Jaitley and subsequent acts of defiance both inside and outside Parliament.

A terse announcement suspending him came from the party headquarters but a detailed communication from the Board went to him listing his “anti-party” activities in and outside Parliament, “lowering the prestige” of the party and its office-bearers.

Azad, the third-term MP from Darbhanga from Bihar and a former cricketer himself, has been for years carrying out a campaign targeting Jaitley over DDCA affairs, but what turned the tide against him was the attack at a press conference here on Sunday against party chief Amit Shah’s advise and open defiance on the floor of the Lok Sabha where he sought a time-bound SIT probe.

As the attacks continued, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah and other top leaders rallied around Jaitley, saying he had impeccable record in public life.

Azad had also dared Jaitley to sue him for defamation after the Finance Minister decided to file civil and criminal cases against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders for slander.

Reacting to the decision, 56-year-old Azad called it “unfortunate” and said he had honestly worked for the party.

“Wait and watch Wait and watch what I do next. Now I will tell everyone,” he said, sounding defiant.

Revelling in the trouble in BJP, the Congress wondered if BJP can “suspend free speech, fair comment, exposure of irregularities and corruption”. “These are the questions the Prime Minister must answer,” party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. who has been at the forefront of the attack on Jaitley, said, “There is no democracy in BJP. Honest voices are muzzled to protect corruption.


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