Congress leader Kirti Azad to join TMC today
- Apart from Azad, Ashok Tanwar and Pavan Varma were also likely to join the TMC
- Azad was suspended from the BJP for openly targeting the then Union Finance Minister
- Azad was elected to the Lok Sabha thrice from Darbhanga in Bihar
Congress leader Kirti Azad on Tuesday said that he "can’t deny" the reports that he was soon joining the Trinamool Congress. Speaking to Hindustan Times, Azad said, "Sources have come out and said this, so I cannot deny them." However, Azad reportedly refused to answer any further questions.
Earlier, a person aware of the developments said that Azad was likely to join the TMC on Tuesday in the presence of TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, who is on a four-day visit to Delhi. Apart from Azad, Ashok Tanwar, who quit the Congress in October 2019 and launched his own party, and former Janata Dal (United) general secretary Pavan Varma were also likely to join the TMC, a news agency said.
A member of the 1983 cricket World Cup-winning squad, Azad was suspended from the BJP for openly targeting the then Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over alleged irregularities and corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association in December 2015. He joined the Congress in 2018.
Azad was elected to the Lok Sabha thrice from Darbhanga in Bihar. He had contested the 2014 general elections on a BJP ticket.
Ashok Tanwar, who was once considered close to senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, was an MP from Sirsa during 2009-2014 and also the president of the party's Haryana unit. He quit the Congress days before the Haryana Assembly elections in October 2019. He launched his own party, Apna Bharat Morcha, in February this year.
Pavan Varma, a former advisor to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, was expelled from the ruling JD(U) in 2020.
He was an MP until July 2016. He was also the national general secretary and spokesperson of the JD(U).