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BJP veterans come in support of Kirti Azad who took on Jaitley

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New Delhi: A day after MP Kirti Azad was suspended from the BJP for taking on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over alleged corruption in Delhi’s cricket body, four party veterans have made up their minds to intervene in the matter.

According to reports, the elders – LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar, and Yashwant Sinha – are likely meet Azad at Joshi’s residence on Thursday, and raise the issue in party forum instead of going public with their views.

BJP veterans, including former president L K Advani, met here on Thursday amid signs that a section of the party is not happy over the suspension of Azad.

Advani drove to the residence of another former president Murli Manohar Joshi and was closeted there with BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar, party insiders said.

Shanta Kumar, a former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, met the media but refused to reveal what was discussed.

“Yes, we met, we discussed things, we had tea. I can’t say more.”

But party sources with access to them said they felt that Azad’s suspension on Wednesday had sent out a wrong message since the cricketer-turned-politician had for years been campaigning against financial wrongdoing in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

“Some of them feel that action has been taken against a person who acted like a whistle-blower,” an informed source told IANS.

The veterans reportedly feel that the move against Azad, a three-time Lok Sabha member from Darbhanga in Bihar, would harm the party.

For eight years, Azad has been campaigning against alleged financial irregularities in the DDCA, which was headed by Jaitley for 13 long years until 2013. Jaitley says he has done no wrong.

The minister has sued Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders for suggesting that he was corrupt.

In a related development, more than 100 supporters of Azad, who was in the Indian cricket team that won the 1983 World Cup, staged a noisy protest outside the BJP headquarters here against his suspension.

Azad, suspended for “anti-party activities”, sought help from the party’s “Marg Darshak Mandal” which comprises of Advani, Joshi, the now ailing former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

This was not an official meeting of the “Marg Darshak Mandal” but one of the veterans who also took a stand widely seen as critical of Modi’s and Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah’s leadership after the party’s huge defeat in assembly polls in Bihar.

There was no official comment from the BJP on what Advani and others discussed. A BJP leader, Srikant Sharma, told the media that the party “respected the senior leaders”.

Advani, Joshi, Shanta Kumar and former finance minister Sinha are known to be unhappy with the working style of Shah, a confidant of Prime Minister Modi.

After the BJP’s Bihar setback, these party veterans took on Modi and Shah, demanding “a thorough review” of the debacle. They said the defeat showed the party had learnt nothing from its crushing defeat by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi in February.

The AAP and the Congress have both come out in support of Azad, son of former Bihar chief minister Bhagwat Jha Azad. Azad said on Wednesday that his suspension was “unfortunate” and that his fight was against corruption and not any individual.

(With inputs from agencies)

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The Modi Analysis: CVOTER Claims Most of The People Satisfied With The Prime Minister

The number of those who are not happy with him at all has remained at around 25 per cent mark throughout the month. 

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On April 1, 51.36 per cent of the respondents in a sample of 12,001 said that they were very satisfied with the Prime Minister with his net satisfaction index 49.62 percentage points. Pixabay

Narendra Modi continues to come up to the expectations of voters as there has been no change in the high satisfaction level with Prime Minister in the last one month, according to CVOTER-IANS tracker.

Between April 1 and May 1, an average 50 per cent of the respondents every day said that they were very satisfied with the Prime Minister, who has sustained the momentum in the entire month during which four phases of polling were held deciding the fate of candidates on 374 out of 543 Lok Sabha seats. Big states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have already given their verdict.

Narendra Modi
Never in the entire month, the number of people most satisfied with him fell before 50 per cent. 
Pixabay

On April 1, 51.36 per cent of the respondents in a sample of 12,001 said that they were very satisfied with the Prime Minister with his net satisfaction index 49.62 percentage points.

A month later on May 1, 51.93 per cent of the respondents in a sample of 10,868 said they were very satisfied with the Prime Minister. His net satisfaction rating stood at 47.89.

Never in the entire month, the number of people most satisfied with him fell before 50 per cent.

The number of those who are not happy with him at all has remained at around 25 per cent mark throughout the month.

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In states, voters in Haryana (72.40 per cent in a sample of 393), Bihar (69.03 in a sample of 499), Himachal Pradesh (68.89 in a sample of 589) and Gujarat (65.25 in a sample of 410) remained most satisfied with the Prime Minister. Pixabay

On April 1, 24.59 per cent respondents said they were not satisfied with the Prime Minister at all in a sample of 12,001. On May 1, 25.66 per cent respondents said they were not satisfied with the Prime Minister.

Also Read: Here Are The Highlights From India-Australia’s 11th Meeting of The Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism

In states, voters in Haryana (72.40 per cent in a sample of 393), Bihar (69.03 in a sample of 499), Himachal Pradesh (68.89 in a sample of 589) and Gujarat (65.25 in a sample of 410) remained most satisfied with the Prime Minister.

The states where voters were least satisfied are Kerala (-10.09 in a sample of 549), Andhra Pradesh (16.17 in a sample of 427) and Punjab (15.50 in a sample of 460). (IANS)