'Not Contesting Polls, Calm Down Folks,' Says Former AAP Leader Shazia Ilmi

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'Not Contesting Polls, Calm Down Folks,' Says Former AAP Leader Shazia Ilmi

FILE photo: Former AAP leader Shazia Ilmi

New Delhi:  Amid reports that she may contest against AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal from the New Delhi assembly seat, former party leader Shazia Ilmi said she will not fight the upcoming Assembly polls.

In a tweet late last night, Ms Ilmi said, "Was invited to speak at the National Defence College. Couldn't take media calls. I am not contesting from New Delhi or elsewhere, calm down folks."

Earlier, Mr Kejriwal told reporters at a press conference that, "she (Ilmi) is a citizen of this country and is free to contest from anywhere she wants."

But hours after the press meet, the AAP chief took a swipe at Ms Ilmi by re-tweeting one of her tweets, dated November 21, 2013 titled 'Hypocrisy, thy name is BJP'.

Ms Ilmi, who was with AAP at the time, criticizes the BJP and the Congress over its funding in the tweet.

Sources in the BJP said the former AAP leader could join the party in two or three days. The BJP reportedly wants to field her against Mr Kejriwal from New Delhi, but she is keen to contest from Okhla.

She had contested the 2013 assembly polls from the RK Puram seat and lost by a slender margin.

AAP then wanted to pit her against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the Lok Sabha polls, but she refused. Rejecting her demand to contest from Delhi, she was finally fielded from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, where she suffered a drubbing.

Ms Ilmi quit the party lashing out at a "coterie" surrounding Mr Kejriwal, just days after the party faced a drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls.

The former AAP leader had also participated in Delhi BJP's 'Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan', but did not join the party.


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