20
Wednesday
February 2019
3:32 AM IST
News Headlines
Pulwama attack masterminded by Jaish, ISI: corps commander        Cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad joins Congress, calls it ''ghar wapsi''        Salve exposes Pak military courts at ICJ, says judges don''t even need law degree        RBI pays Rs 28,000 cr interim dividend to govt ahead of elections        Pulwama attack: IMG-Reliance pulls out of PSL 2019        PUMA ropes in magnificent Mary as brand ambassador        No possibility of bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan: IPL        Fire breaks out in a QRS showroom        Pakistan shooters granted visas for New Delhi World Cup        Kulbhushan Jadhav hearing: India accuses Pakistan of misusing ICJ for propaganda        Cross-LoC bus service suspended in JK's Poonch        Another Major from Uttarakhand killed in J-K        Flash Hartal in Kerala: Stray incidents of violence reported        Army major, two Jaish militants among seven killed in Pulwama encounter        Four soldiers killed in encounter in J-K's Pulwama        CRPF to add new security features to convoy movement in J&K        Youth arrested for offensive social media post        Two Youth Congress workers hacked to death in Kerala        ICJ to hold public hearings in Kulbhushan Jadhav case from Monday amid fresh Indo-Pak tensions        India, Iran agree on close cooperation to fight terrorism        
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National News
Cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad joins Congress, calls it ''ghar wapsi''
 
New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI): Terming it his "ghar wapsi" (homecoming), Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad joined the Congress on Monday and slammed his former party BJP for its alleged lack of internal democracy and for peddling in rhetoric. Azad, who was suspended by the ruling BJP for anti-party activities, met Congress president Rahul Gandhi in the morning and was inducted into the party.

Addressing a press conference later in the day, the 60-year-old former India cricketer said he served the BJP selflessly for 26 years, but under the Modi government he realised that the "real face behind the mask had started to become evident". "I felt bad when I heard jumlas, I saw corruption...I felt that the place where my father started his political career and served, I should also do ghar wapsi and serve there.

I have made a ghar wapsi," he said. The Lok Sabha MP from Darbhanga is the son of late Bhagwat Jha Azad, a veteran Congress leader who also served as Bihar chief minister for a brief period. Azad, a member of the 1983 World Cup winning team, was suspended by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2015 after he levelled allegations against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in connection with alleged irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). On Monday, he raised the issue again and claimed he had 400 official papers to show that there was corruption in the private entity.

"The party had nothing to do with the body (DDCA), the government had nothing to do with it. I was talking about Rs 400 crore corruption in the body. I felt bad that my voice was not heard in the party," Azad said. He also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his statement, ''Na kahunga na khane doonga'' (will not indulge in graft, neither will let others do so), saying the party that talked about fighting corruption "back stabbed" him on the DDCA issue. "Then I had understood that like other things, ''Na khaunga na khane doonga'' was also a jumla," he said. "Internal democracy in the BJP is finished. Nobody is willing to listen to you.

The Congress is like a family to me and I am very happy that I am back," the cricketer-turned-politician said. He also raised the Rafale issue, claiming that even people in the BJP raise doubts over the fighter jet deal. The government lied to the Supreme Court in an affidavit on the Rafale deal, he alleged. Azad also claimed BJP leaders had come to him recently and said an internal survey had shown he would win from Darbhanga. He said they "offered" him the Darbhanga seat and forget about the past.

To a question on Tejashvi Yadav, Azad hailed the Rashtriya Janata Dal leader as dynamic politician with a bright future. On whether he was switching ideologies, Azad said he never followed the RSS ideology and always believed in uniting people. "Was inspired by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani when I joined the BJP. There is big difference between the old BJP and the one that is there at present," he said in response to another question on shifting his allegiance to the Congress. He attacked the prime minister over the Pulwama attack, saying: "I want to remind the prime minister of his statement... he had said he will get ten heads in revenge for one." "I played cricket for the country''s pride and honour. There is nothing bigger than the country for me.

I want to remind him (the PM) that if he has got even one head as revenge, he should tell us," he said. AICC general secretary Bihar-incharge Shakti Sinh Gohil welcomed Azad into the party and said that it was not possible for any person with self-respect to stay in the BJP under Modi and party chief Amit Shah. Azad, who is currently serving his third term in the Lok Sabha, was to officially join the opposition party on Friday, but the programme was cancelled in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.


No possibility of bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan: IPL
Pakistan shooters granted visas for New Delhi World Cup
Kulbhushan Jadhav hearing: India accuses Pakistan of misusing ICJ for propaganda
Cross-LoC bus service suspended in JK's Poonch
Another Major from Uttarakhand killed in J-K
CRPF to add new security features to convoy movement in J&K
Youth arrested for offensive social media post
Army officer killed, soldier injured in mine explosion along LoC in J-K
''Make in India'' needs serious rethink: Rahul
Liver for transplant ferried on Mumbai suburban train
A day after being flagged off, Vande Bharat Express runs into trouble twice
BSP functionary, woman arrested for attempt to ''honey-trap'' ex-UP minister
Curfew in Jammu city after protests over Pulwama attack
PM flags off India's fastest train Vande Bharat Express
PM warns Pakistan, says terrorists will pay heavy price for Pulwama attack
"Army is to fight bad uncles": Daughter of Martyred Soldier explaining everyone the meaning of 'Army' goes viral on Social Media
Modi govt has failed in checking terrorism, alleges Cong after Pulwama attack
Entire country is united to give befitting reply to wrong doers, says Rajnath Singh
Last time you made a Class 12-pass PM, do not repeat the mistake in 2019: Kejriwal
Mulayam wishes to see Modi as PM again
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Maisie Williams to star in thriller 'The Owners'
 Los Angeles: "Game of Thrones" star Maisie Williams has boarded the cast of Julius Berg's thriller "  
Swara Bhasker turning producer
I want to do serious films now: Kartik Aaryan
Vaikom Vijayalekshmi ties knot with Anoop
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Salve exposes Pak military courts at ICJ, says judges don''t even need law degree
 The Hague, Feb 18 (PTI): India on Monday tore through the "opaque proceedings" of Pakistani military
ICJ to hold public hearings in Kulbhushan Jadhav case from Monday amid fresh Indo-Pak tensions
India, Iran agree on close cooperation to fight terrorism
German high-speed train derails in Switzerland, no injuries
KERALA NEWS
Fire breaks out in a QRS showroom
 Kottayam: A major fire broke out in QRS showroom at Thirunnakkara in Kottayam on Monday evening. On
Flash Hartal in Kerala: Stray incidents of violence reported
Thousands bid emotional farewell to CRPF jawan in Kerala
Religious practices should be respected: Smriti Irani
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