New Delhi : Bharatiya Janata Party MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad was on Wednesday suspended by the party for publicly targeting finance minister Arun Jaitley over allegations of corruption in Delhi’s cricket administration.
“Action taken against Kirti Azad for going against the party line and attacking Arun Jaitley,” the Bharatiya Janata Party said.
Azad earlier joined Opposition parties in raising the matter in the Lok Sabha on Monday – prompted and cheered by Congress leaders.
His Lok Sabha intervention was in defiance of the advice from party president Amit Shah and organisational secretary Ram Lal – ahead of a press conference – not to embarrass the party. Azad had demanded a probe into the alleged irregularities in the DDCA that Jaitley headed for more than a decade.
Azad, elected to the Lok Sabha from Darbhanga in Bihar, held the press conference on Sunday and alleged massive corruption in the affairs of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).
Immediately after Azad’s press conference, the Aam Aadmi Party again demanded Jaitley’s resignation from the cabinet. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also announced that he would set up a Commission of Inquiry to probe the DDCA affairs.
Asked if he feared action by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for speaking against a fellow party leader, Azad had reiterated that his fight was against corruption and not against any individual or party.
“What wrong I have done? I am fighting against corruption and my fight is not against any individual or any party.
“Have I spoken a single word against my party or any individual? I have never protested against the policies of the government.
“In fact, what I have done is on the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is against corruption. His government is following the mantra of zero tolerance towards corruption.”
The cricketer-turned-politician vowed to pursue the DDCA case — which he has been raising for eight long years — till its “final conclusion”.
BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha on Wednesday described Azad as a “hero”. “Kirti Azad-hero of the day,” the outspoken actor-turned-politician tweeted.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had defended the finance minister, saying that Jaitley would come out of the DDCA row with flying colours.