After Kiran Bedi, it is Ilmi, Is Jayaprada next?
- Ilmi joins BJP after meeting Amit Shah
- Jayaprada likely to follow suit
- BJP mobilizes women leaders to campaign against Kejriwal
- Two former colleagues ranged against him
New Delhi, January 16: As a part of series of developments unleashed by the BJP leadership, Shazia Ilmi, former aide of Arvind Kejriwal, AAP chief, has joined the saffron party on Friday. She said she may not be contesting elections and is not interested in defeating someone. She would, however, be campaigning against her former mentor. At the same time she said she would go by the instructions of the party even in the case of decision whether to contest in the elections.
Former journalist Ilmi said she always tried to serve the nation through journalism first and by joining the anti-graft movement led by Anna Hazare and then by joining Aam Admi Party founded by Arvind Kejriwal. “You know why I left the AAP and they also abandoned me. There is a new discourse in the country and we should all support it”, she told the media after joining the party. She met Amit Shah before announcing her joining the party.
Shazia had quit the AAP on May 24 last year as a protest against the absence of internal democracy in the party. Kejriwal at that told a TV channel that Ilmi is about to join the Congress and that was why she left the party. Ilmi said, she proved Kejriwal wrong and did not join the Congress. Now is the time for everyone to support Modi who launched Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan with Mahatma Gandhi as icon.
It was Kiran Bedi on Wednesday and Shazia Ilma on Friday. Could it be Jayaprada the next to join the BJP? Amar Singh, Jaya’s mentor has been furiously trying to get into the BJP. He has been talking about his intimacy with many BJP leaders and the common cause they are likely to fight for.
Jayaprada in Delhi
Film actor cum politician Jayaprada is all set to join the BJP and is slated to campaign against chief of Aam Admi Party (AAP) Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi assembly elections. Jayaprada who acted in a number of Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Bengali, Kannada and Malayalam films started her political career with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). She played an important role in the Viceroy coup in 1995 to replace TDP founder NT Rama Rao by Nara Chandrababu Naidu, now chief minister o f AP.
Later, Jayaprada, 52, became a close associate of Amar Singh, UP strongman, a right hand person to Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. She fought and won from Rampur constituency in UP. Jayaprada told NDTV that she hoped to join the BJP putting behind the bitter experience with the SP and its leader Mulayam Singh Yadav. Amar Singh also was scheduled to join the BJP in what he called a ‘package deal’. Amar Singh told the media that he was in touch with Mathur, BJP leader, and he was also a friend of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. But Bedi alone joined the BJP in the presence of its president Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley on Thursday in the party office.
Jayaprada with AAP former leader Shazia Ilmi would be campaigning for the BJP in Delhi elections along with Kiran Bedi, super cop, who joined the party the other day. BJP leadership is understood to be toying with the idea of fielding Jayaprada or Ilmi against AAP chief Kejriwal. Ilmi is reportedly reluctant to contest against her former leader. Jayaprada appears to have no problem to contest against Kejriwal if the party instructed.
Married to film producer Shrikant Nahata, Jayaprada has been actively involved in national politics and she was seen speaking in parliament on national issues in general and issues pertaining to UP in particular. She was tormented by Mulayam’s close ally Azam Khan in UP politics. She survived there as long as Amar Singh was a force to reckon with. With Amar falling out with Mulayam, the political troubles of Jaya mounted. She was out of SP for all practical purposes for many months. She was weighing her options so far. She came here from Hyderabad on Thursday to meet Rajnath Singh. Before leaving for Delhi, she told a TV channel in Hyderabad that she would be happy to work under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and that she was not trying to get any position of power. She said she told NTR also before joining TDP that she is not after office. She is waiting for a call from the BJP office.