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Advani to write to Narendra Modi

Advani to write to Narendra Modi
Highlights

BJP veterans upset over the suspension of party MP Kirti Azad met here on Thursday and authorized former president L K Advani to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to express their anguish.

L K Advani, M M Joshi, Yashwant Sinha and and Shanta KumarVeterans upset over Azad’s suspension

New Delhi : BJP veterans upset over the suspension of party MP Kirti Azad met here on Thursday and authorized former president L K Advani to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to express their anguish.

  • Swamy comes out to support former cricketer

A meeting of the veterans at the residence of Murli Manohar Joshi, another former BJP president, also decided to demand an internal panel to probe the charges of corruption in Delhi's cricket body hurled by Azad against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Besides the BJP veterans’ concern, Kirti Azad has found a supporter in party leader Subramanian Swamy. "I have received the (suspension) notice and will respond to it. Subramanian Swamy has assured of help in drafting the reply," Kirti Azad told the media on Thursday.

Subramanian Swamy said he "did not think the party should lose an honest person like him (Azad) I will assist Azad in drafting a reply to the BJP notice. He is still a BJP member. I have every right to assist him."

Jaitley, a confidant of Modi, headed the Delhi and District Cricket Association for 13 years until 2013. He has denied the allegations, and sued Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for calling him corrupt in the DDCA affair.

Advani was closeted with Joshi and BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar, party insiders said. Shanta Kumar, a former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, refused to reveal what was discussed. "Yes, we met, we discussed things, we had tea. I can't say more."

But party sources said the veterans felt that Azad's suspension for "anti-party activities" on Wednesday had sent out a wrong message since the cricketer-turned-politician had for years campaigned against financial wrongdoing in the DDCA.

The sources said the veterans were of the view the BJP leadership did not follow the proper procedure while acting against Azad, a three-time Lok Sabha member from Bihar and son of former Bihar chief minister Bhagwat Jha Azad.

They argued that the party should have sent a show cause notice to Azad, waited for his reply and then acted after a due meeting of the party's parliamentary board.

Instead, it was seen that BJP president Amit Shah, another Modi confidant, presided over the decision after failing to persuade Azad from addressing the media on the DDCA issue. Ahead of the suspension, Jaitley dubbed Azad a "Trojan Horse".

"Some of them feel that action has been taken against a person who acted like a whistle-blower," an informed source said. The suspension of Azad would harm the party, the veterans are reported to have concluded.

After his suspension, Azad sought justice from the BJP's "Marg Darshak Mandal" which comprises of Advani, Joshi, the ailing former prime minister A B Vajpayee, Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Thursday's was not a meeting of the Mandal but of the veterans who also took a stand widely seen as critical of Modi and Shah after the BJP's huge defeat in the November assembly polls in Bihar.

There was no official comment from the BJP on the veterans' meet. BJP leader Srikant Sharma merely told the media that the party "respected the senior leaders". Advani, Joshi, Shanta Kumar and former finance minister Sinha are known to be unhappy with the working style of Shah.

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