HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Not joining Congress, says Shazia Ilmi

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 08, 2014
First Published: 13:05 IST(8/8/2014) | Last Updated: 13:13 IST(8/8/2014)

Former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Shazia Ilmi has, for the time being, put to rest speculation that she has plans to join the Congress.

"For the record, I have not joined any party, nor am I in the process of joining any party. If at all I do so, I will make an announcement, the party concerned will issue a statement. But I do not rule out any possibility in future," the former journalist said in a telephonic interview on Friday.

"There are rumours that Shazia is joining the Congress. There has to be some substance. I meet a whole lot of people during TV debates. You as a journalist must be meeting a whole lot of people. It cannot be that simplistic. There has to be more to it."

Sections of the media had reported Ilmi was in touch with top Congress leaders and her entry into the grand old party had almost been approved.

"The decision will be taken by the party high command," a senior Delhi Congress leader was quoted as saying on Thursday.
Ilmi had quit the AAP in May, citing "lack of internal democracy".

She had contested the 2013 Delhi assembly elections from RK Puram and the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Ghaziabad on AAP tickets. She lost both the contests, but put up a strong showing in RK Puram.  

Ilmi, once seen as one of the brightest lights in the AAP, indicated she was not averse to the idea of reconciliation.

"There is also speculation about my going back to the AAP. I keep meeting party workers and volunteers. They keep inviting me. I'm deeply involved with them. But the fact is I have not met any senior leader (after I quit the party). They have to approach me. I'm neither aggrieved nor upset with the AAP," she said. 

Ilmi added she would not contest the next Delhi assembly elections. "Rumour-mongering is a common pastime. It's like a game of Chinese whispers. Truth has least to do with it sadly." 

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