Bharatiya Janata Party MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad was on Wednesday suspended by the party after publicly targeting finance minister Arun Jaitley over allegations of corruption in Delhi’s cricket administration.
“Kirti Azad, MP Darbhanga, is being suspended for anti-party activities,” read a release issued by the BJP.
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.
Azad reiterated after his suspension that his fight was against corruption and not against any individual or party. “I didn’t say anything against anyone personally. They must explain ‘anti-party activities’ I have been involved in,” the MP said. “The one who worked honestly for the party (BJP) is thrown out. Just watch what happens next, now I will show them,” he added.
The cricketer-turned-politician has 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.