New Delhi: Former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Shazia Ilmi on Friday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The announcement of Shazia joining the BJP was made at a press conference attended by Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay and the former AAP leader, among others.
Speaking on the occasion, Shazia said she sees her joining the BJP as an opportunity to serve the nation and its people.
"After being defeated in last Assembly elections and subsequently in general elections, I don't want to fight this election. However, I will follow the party's instructions, but I want my party to respect my wish," said Ilmi, a long-time associate of AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal.
tating that she was impressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's functioning, Shazia stressed there was a need to move away from negative politics.
“We need to shift from negative politics to positive politics. We need to end the politics of vengeance.”
“We should create a new civil identity, that of being an Indian, and not a Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Sikh etc,” the former TV anchor said.
Shazia stated that she was not joining the BJP for the desire to fight polls.
“I don't want to fight election, and haven't spoken about it. I just want to serve,” she said.
Praising the party, Shazia said BJP stands for development and governance.
“We don't want the people of Delhi to face chaotic confrontation... they should get good governance. We must move towards positive politics, change the lawlessness approach and move towards development,” Shazia said.
“There is new political discourse in the country and we all must be part of it,” she said further.
Prior to joining the BJP, Shazia had met party president Amit Shah this afternoon.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the TV anchor-turned-politician had said that she had a good meeting with Amit Shah who welcomed her in the party.
The development came just a day after her former Team Anna member Kiran Bedi joined the BJP in the presence of Amit Shah. Bedi is tipped to be the party's CM candidate for Delhi polls; however, a formal announcement is yet to be made.
Shazia, who quit AAP last year, had yesterday promised to expose the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP “for what it is” over the next few days.
Further, actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada is also expected to join the BJP and may be fielded against AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal.
The Election Commission has already announced the schedule for Delhi Assembly Elections. While voting takes place on February 7, the results will be out three days later.