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DDCA Row: Arun Jaitley cannot take shield of party discipline, says Kirti Azad

PTI 01 Jan 2016, 18:41:26 IST

New Delhi: Unfazed by the prospect of his expulsion from the BJP, suspended MP Kirti Azad today again attacked the Finance Minister and told the party that Arun Jaitley cannot take the shield of party discipline as the Delhi cricket body issue has no link with the BJP.

In his point by point rebuttal of the charges in the show cause notice slapped on him by the party yesterday, Mr. Azad said he had been pursuing the issue of “corruption” in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) for the past nine years “without any let up” and was not even once told by BJP not to pursue it.

Questioning the party's action against him, he said that he did not “name Jaitley or any party person” in the issue and the party did not depute Mr. Jaitley as the DDCA head.

He also made an apparent reference to previous BJP chiefs, saying “all three respected party presidents also realised that cricket had no connection with our party activities and Mr.Jaitley's role in DDCA was his own concern.” He did not name them.

“Not one office-bearer apart from Mr. Jaitley has reason to feel aggrieved by my or the cricketers' (Bishan Singh Bedi and others) complaint of wrongdoings in DDCA,” a combative Mr. Azad said.

“Humbly, I do not understand how an individual who has chosen to involve himself in activities that have no connection with the party can later claim the shield of party discipline when instances of wrongdoing in that body are raised and proved,” says his reply to the party.

He noted that he had told party chief Amit Shah and general secretary, organisation, Ram Lal when he was summoned by them on December 18 that Jaitley was not deputed by BJP to be the DDCA head.

“In case he chose to be the DDCA president he was opening himself to all associated risks that are entitled in running an organisation and that he could not claim the shield of party position if he got implicated in any mismanagement, fraud and irregularity,” Azad said in his reply while referring to the meeting.

He had told Shah that he was willing to give all documents regarding the “corruption in DDCA” in a joint meeting with Jaitley but neither Shah nor Ram Lal got back to him.

“Since neither called back I assumed that a cricketing matter had no relation with any party activity and that I will be well within the norms of discipline if I did not name anybody in the party. I did not name Jaitley or any party person,” he says in his reply, while justifying his decision of holding press conference.

While keeping up the attack on Jaitley, Azad said he had never “defamed” the party or its office—bearer, as said by the show cause notice, and insisted that he had been a “loyal party soldier for last 22 years and I owe my success and identity to BJP”.