Kirti Azad demands more probes into DDCA

Mon 21 Dec 2015, 17:40:43
Kirtivardhan Jha Azad, who has raised his voice against the alleged corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) for nearly a decade, on Sunday demanded further probe into the functioning of Delhi’s cricket body when finance minister Arun Jaitley had headed it.

At a crowded press conference which lasted nearly two hours, Azad repeated many of the charges the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had levelled against those minding the DDCA. These included how fictitious companies were paid money, accounts were allegedly fudged and costs to renovate the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium escalated. The AAP had targeted Jaitley, who denied all the charges and pointed to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) probe report that had given him a clean chit.

At the press conference, Azad and former cricket captain Bishan Singh Bedi, who flanked him, said their battle wasn’t against an individual (Jaitley). “Don’t try to sensationalise this to be a fight between two individuals. Please look at the larger issue of corruption in how cricket is run in Delhi,” Bedi said. Azad demanded Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence investigations into the alleged corruption at DDCA. “One should refrain from making it a battle between a Trojan horse and Achilles heel,” Azad said, a reference to Jaitley having called him a Trojan horse.

The press statement that Azad issued and the video recording of a DDCA meeting of 2012 where Azad is seen questioning Jaitley about irregularities left little doubt about the real target. The press release included 60 questions Azad asked Jaitley about all that's allegedly gone wrong at the DDCA. Azad, who had met Amit Shah on Friday, was asked whether the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president tried to dissuade him from going ahead with the press conference, Azad said: “He (Shah) offered me sweets.”

The former cricketer, who will turn 58 in a fortnight, said he admired Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his commitment to weeding out corruption.

Azad, who played 25 one day internationals and seven test matches for India, did not deny he had knocked at the doors of Congress president Sonia Gandhi to request the then United Progressive Alliance government to order a probe into the affairs of DDCA.
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