Ex-AAP leader Shazia Ilmi praises Narendra Modi, joins BJP

New Delhi: Former AAP leader Shazia Ilmi Friday joined the BJP "for the rest of my life" after lavishing praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A day after former police officer Kiran Bedi formally joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, it was the turn of Ilmi, who broke ranks some time ago with Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal.

"There is indeed a new political discourse in the country, and we must all be a part of it," the journalist-turned-politician told the media in the company of Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay.

Shazia Ilmi, Amit Shah
BJP president Amit Shah presents a bouquet to former AAP leader Shazia Ilmi at his residence in New Delhi on Friday. Pic/PTI

She admitted she had had differences with the BJP and the Congress in the past.

"But in the last six months I have realized that the prime minister is doing a good job. The way he invoked Mahatma Gandhi's name for the Swacch Bharat (Clean India) campaign is very impressive," she said.

Ilmi had contested - and narrowly lost - the December 2013 assembly elections on AAP ticket.

Once close to Kejriwal, Ilmi was reportedly unhappy that the AAP fielded her in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014 from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh where she finished a distant fifth.

Ilmi earlier called on BJP president Amit Shah. She said she expected "nothing" from the BJP.

"You can ask Amit Bhai and others. I have not asked for anything," she said. "It is an opportunity to serve my city and nation."

Ilmi further said that it was her decision to not fight the election and she hoped that the party will respect that.

"However, I am ready to take up any responsibility that the party gives me," she added.

Along with Ilmi, music director Anand Raaj Anand too joined the party.

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