Phoolka re­jects talk of join­ing BJP

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - [email protected] times­group.com

New Delhi: For­mer AAP leader HS Phoolka on Sun­day quelled spec­u­la­tion that he might join BJP be­fore the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Phoolka’s re­marks came even as Union min­is­ter and BJP leader Vi­jay Goel fe­lic­i­tated him for his le­gal fight for the vic­tims of the 1984 anti-Sikh ri­ots.

Goel lauded Phoolka for his role in the con­vic­tion of se­nior Con­gress leader Sa­j­jan Ku­mar and called him a friend and “good” per­son. “I am be­ing fre­quently asked whether Phoolka is join­ing BJP. Our doors are open for all good peo­ple, it’s up to them to de­cide,” Goel said. Sources in BJP, how­ever, said dis­cus­sions with Phoolka about con­test­ing from Pun­jab were on.

Phoolka, a for­mer leader of the op­po­si­tion in Pun­jab assem­bly, re­cently quit AAP and stated that the de­ci­sion to turn an anti-cor­rup­tion move­ment into a po­lit­i­cal party was wrong. At a press con­fer­ence held a day after his res­ig­na­tion, Phoolka said: “There is a need for a move­ment that’s sim­i­lar to the one started by Anna Hazare in 2011and form an or­gan­i­sa­tion that can call a spade a spade.”

Though he had de­clared that he wouldn’t con­test elec­tions, Phoolka did state that many peo­ple in Pun­jab had told him that he could win from any seat in Pun­jab be­cause of his role in get­ting jus­tice for 1984 riot vic­tims.

“BJP has al­ways sup­ported us in our fight for jus­tice to the vic­tims of the 1984 an­ti­Sikh ri­ots. I have been meet­ing sev­eral BJP lead­ers for this pur­pose. I met law min­is­ter Ravi Shankar Prasad and home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh for sup­port and they backed me,” Phoolka said on Sun­day. “Even the Va­j­payee gov­ern­ment sup­ported my bat­tle,” he added. “My close­ness with BJP ex­isted even when I was with AAP,” he said.

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