Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the suspension of BJP MP Kirti Azad, who has questioned Union finance minister Arun Jaitley over alleged corruption in the Delhi cricket body and demanded an inquiry into the matter.
“During the election campaign, Modi spoke about scams and said he would not allow corruption. But, now scams are taking place and the latest is the cricket scam, and the MP who raised it has been suspended (from the BJP),” Rahul told reporters on his way back to Delhi after a two-day visit to Amethi.
“Modi used to say ‘na khaoonga, na khaney doonga’ (will not engage in corruption myself or allow others). But today he is silent. People have started losing faith,” he said questioning the PM’s promise to root out corruption.
Rahul said Modi should take action and conduct an inquiry into the affairs of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) of which Jaitley was the president for 13 years till 2013.
His remarks came a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cracked the whip and suspended cricketer-turned-MP Azad, charging him with indulging in anti-party activities and accusing him of “colluding” with Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party to bring it to “disrepute”.
The action of the BJP parliamentary board to suspend him from the party’s primary membership with immediate effect came after his press conference attacking Jaitley and subsequent acts of defiance both inside and outside Parliament.
‘Don’t sermonise on corruption’
The BJP, however, brushed aside Rahul’s attacks saying the Congress party should not sermonise on the issue of corruption when Rahul and party president Sonia Gandhi are accused in the National Herald case.
“It’s amusing to learn that Rahul Gandhi is sermonising on corruption. He should be reminded of the fact that he along with Congress president Sonia Gandhi are out on bail, because of the very important fact that the court of this country has said that both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi ie, accused number one and accused number two, in fact, had criminal intent in the National Herald case,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra told ANI.
“Those who amass the wealth of this country with criminal intent, and those who are out on bail should not sermonise on corruption. Rather than sermonising, they should be introspecting as to how they can self correct,” he added.
Support for Azad
Clean Sports India (CSI), a movement for corruption-free sports, too has offered its support to the cricketer-turned-politician and called former cricketers and Olympians and other sportspersons to support Azad in his “fight against corruption in sports”.
“Clean Sports India strongly condemns the action of the BJP to suspend Kirti Azad who is fighting against corruption in DDCA,” the CSI said in a statement.
“CSI is saddened to note the silence of former cricketers on this issue. Most of the former cricketers, except few like Bishan Singh Bedi, are compromised with corrupt cricket management of India,” it added.
(With PTI and ANI inputs)