Mumbai: Cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad, who was suspended by BJP after he attacked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over DDCA issue, on Tuesday appeared in a combative mood as he said he won't bow before anyone and is ready to go to jail in his fight against corruption. "I will go to court and expose everyone.
Then my party will laud me!" Azad, who had been leading a campaign against Jaitley on alleged corruption in the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA), said.
"I am ready to go to jail. But as long as I am alive, I will fight corruption," he said adding that DDCA is the "legal institute of corruption", where you can do a PhD in it.
"The Prime Minister says he won't let anyone indulge in corruption. He should take cognisance of the issue," he said. "I wrote 200 letters, 500 e-mails to then DDCA chief, who is now the Finance Minister. Even Bishen Singh Bedi wrote letters. But I did not name anyone. My only demand was that action be taken against corruption, he said. "I won't bow before anyone. This is the battle for truth. I told my party that my fight is not against anyone. Why does my party not raise BCCI and IPL corruption? There is United Alliance for corruption in BCCI," he said.
Azad was felicitated at an event organised by the magazine Mithila Darpan, along with Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam here tonight.
"I am a son of a freedom fighter, who went to jail six times and bore bullet injuries. As a cricketer, there was joy in beating Pakistan. Now, I see a Pakistani in every corrupt person," Azad said.
"The stupid DDCA people have filed defamation case of Rs 2.5 crore against me. The fools don't know that I don't have that much amount," Azad said. In this case, CBI is asking us what is our source of income. The law of the land is being misused. 45 people aged 90 to 99 are DDCA members and someone votes as their proxies, he said.
"Those who indulged in bank corruption have filed a case against us," he alleged. "Tomorrow I will be cross examining the auditor." Invoking epic 'Mahabharat', Azad said, "This is Kalyug where this Abhimanyu will break the 'chakravyuh'."
The third-term MP from Darbhanga in Bihar said, "I have been suspended from the party, which I served for 22 years. Rajiv Gandhi had suggested to my father that I contest my father's Bhagalpur seat, but my father had refused."
After going public by targeting Jaitley over alleged irregularities in DDCA, BJP had suspended Azad for "anti-party activities" last month.
However, stating that disciplinary action cannot stop him from fighting corruption, Azad had recently said that the extra expenditure for the reconstruction of the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium was incurred without any approval from anyone.
Without naming Jaitley, he had said that the then DDCA president was informed about the financial irregularities in the Association through letters and emails. But no action had been taken, he added.
Talking to reporters after the event, Azad said, "I have been raising corruption in DDCA for last nine years. I never named Jaitley. I only said we wrote to him when he was DDCA chief." "I am sure the PM will find time from his busy schedule to look into this issue. This is a cricket issue and no politics should be linked to it," he said.
During the event earlier, Nirupam, who shared dais with Azad, said, "Till now, Kirti bhai is in BJP." However, the Congress leader did not elaborate on it any further. "Two Biharis are at this event. I don't know what will happen in future...I was told our Bihari (Azad) is being insulted. We have to give him moral support. Shatrughan Sinha and Azad are among the few people whom Biharis are proud of," Nirupam said.
"Azad used to tell me in previous Lok Sabha about corruption in cricket. I want to ask the party which highlighted corruption by Congress - 'what sort of justice is it to suspend someone who highlighted corruption by your party leader'," Nirupam asked. The whole country is with you in this struggle against corruption, the former Congress MP said.