Her former boss, Arvind Kejriwal, chief of the Aam Admi Party or AAP, told NDTV today that he did not want to comment on why Ms Ilmi quit his party. "I remain fond of Shazia, I will always respect her," he said.
Last night, in a swipe at her, Mr Kejriwal re-tweeted a post from Ms Ilmi in 2013 in which she had declared, 'Hypocrisy, thy name is BJP'.
Hypocrisy, thy name is BJP pic.twitter.com/wK0q2fbd41-- shazia ilmi (@shaziailmi) November 22, 2013
Both Mr Kejriwal and Ms Ilmi appear reluctant to elaborate on reports that she will join the BJP very soon and challenge the AAP leader in a direct confrontation in the New Delhi constituency. "She is a citizen of this country and is free to contest from anywhere she wants," said Mr Kejriwal. "I will let you know," said Ms Ilmi. Last night, she tweeted, "I am not contesting from New Delhi or elsewhere, calm down folks."
Was invited to speak at the National Defence College .Cdnt take media calls. Im not contesting from New Delhi or elsewhere Calm down folks-- shazia ilmi (@shaziailmi) January 14, 2015
Delhi votes for its next government on February 7; results will be declared on February 10. In the last state election, Mr Kejriwal won the New Delhi seat to the state legislature. Ms Ilmi lost her seat. She was defeated again in May last year when she ran as the AAP candidate for Parliament from Ghaziabad near Delhi. Former Army Chief General VK Singh, who had joined the BJP, won that battle.
Ms Ilmi then quit AAP, alleging that Mr Kejriwal and his aides have little interest in democratic leadership.
Mr Kejriwal, who ran Delhi for 49 days with a minority government and whose decision to quit provoked much public criticism, says he is confident that Delhi will give AAP a second chance at governance. The Prime Minister is leading the BJP's campaign in Delhi.