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Kirti Azad Not Ready To Give Up Without A Fight, Gets Support Of Veterans

BJP veterans L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha went into a huddle over developments in the party in the wake of Azad's suspension

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Suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad is not ready to give up without a fight.

On Thursday (24 December), he managed to rally the support of the BJP elders - L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Yahswant Sinha and Shanta Kumar, members of the BJP "markdarshak mandal".

The quartet met during the day, at Joshi's residence, and are believed to have argued that Azad had not committed any crime by raising the issue of corruption in DDCA. When asked about the meeting, Shanta Kumar told BW | Businessworld: "We met over tea. It's natural that a host of issues would be discussed".

Azad is now scheduled to meet Joshi.

On an earlier occasion, after the Bihar assembly election results, the quartet had issued a public statement questioning the party leadership. This time round, they have decided not to raise the Azad issue in public, without exploring the avenue of party platform.

What is interesting that at least three of them share an uneasy relationship with Jaitley. Sinha and Joshi in the past have said that Jaitley was "behind some press reports" that appeared uncharitable to them. Shanta too is uncomfortable with him.

Although Jaitley is considered more of a protégé of Advani, lately the BJP patriarch has been feeling sidelined in the party.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has also offered to assist Azad in formulating his response to the BJP. "Now I am mentoring Kirti…" he said, in a series of tweets. Although he stressed that it should not be seen as a step against Jaitley, it's an open secret that he shares an extremely difficult relationship with Jaitley. He has in the past questioned the Finance Ministry's action in the National Herald case. Also, Swamy's supporters fancy him as a finance minister in a BJP government.

While Jaitley has been backed by PM Modi and even his rival Rajnath Singh in the event of Congress / AAP accusations in the DDCA case, if the campaign unleashed by the "margdarshak mandal" picks momentum, it would be rarity in the party's history - such is the hold that Jaitley currently exercises over the BJP apparatus, in association with Modi and party president Amit Shah.

Tags assigned to this article:
Kirti Azad arun jaitley bjp DDCA scam corruption