Two days after the cricketer-turned-politician took on Jaitley on the floor of Lok Sabha, the BJP issued a one-line statement saying Azad was being suspended with immediate effect for “änti-party” activities.
Finally, the BJP has wielded the disciplinary rod suspending its MP Kirti Azad from the party’s primary membership after he publicly targeted finance minister Arun Jaitley while making corruption allegations in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Two days after the cricketer-turned-politician took on Jaitley on the floor of Lok Sabha, the BJP issued a one-line statement saying Azad was being suspended with immediate effect for “änti-party” activities. Party President Amit Shah issued a suspension order, at the end of a tumultuous winter session which witnessed a government-opposition standoff on various issues. The action was taken after consultations among the party’s parliamentary board.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “You have made several statements in the media which constitute anti-party activities and such unfounded statements and allegations were clearly intended to bring disrepute to the party and its office bearers. Your actions have also resulted in lowering the pressure of the party and its office bearers. You have deliberately embarrassed the party and its office bearers by raising these in public domain. You have acted and carried on propaganda against the decisions of the party,” Shah said in the suspension order. While Azad was not issued a show cause notice, the suspension order said he colluded with opposition parties, the Congress and AAP,. The order said he had defied party discipline inside and outside Parliament. The party dubbed his allegations as false propaganda and said the parliamentary board has suspended him from the party membership.Pressure was mounting on the BJP, which had refrained from taking any action or even reprimanding the MP, who on Sunday had gone ahead with his press conference defying the party on corruption in DDCA, which Jaitley had headed for 13 years. Azad took his battle with the high profile minister to another level when he took him on in Lok Sabha when the Opposition was demanding Jaitley’s resignation. Azad sought a SIT-monitored CBI probe into his allegations of corruption in DDCA between 2008 and 2013 and said “everyone knows who was the DDCA chief at that time.” Soon after his suspension, Azad made threatening noises saying “wait and watch my next move.” Azad has not yet been expelled from the party. “The issue I raised is old, havent teamed up with Congress or AAP. I worked honestly for the BJP but have been branded anti-party…. The one who worked honestly for the party is thrown out,” he said. When Azad met Shah and BJP general secretary (Organisation) Ram Lal, he was asked not to hold the press conference on the DDCA row as it would give ammunition to the Opposition. However, Azad went ahead. The BJP’s silence on Azad’s behaviour was threatening to spark off speculation on inner turmoil in the party. Party sources said taking action during the session would have given fuel to the Opposition. According to them, there was also pressure, particularly from the Bihar unit, to take some action against party MP Shatrughan Sinha who has been consistently tweeting against the party.