This Article is From Jan 16, 2015

Former Aam Aadmi Party leader Shazia Ilmi Joins the BJP

BJP chief Amit Shah with Shazia Ilmi at his residence. (Press Trust of India)

New Delhi: Former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Shazia Ilmi joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today. (Delhi Assembly Elections: Track LIVE updates here)

At a press conference  in Delhi where she was welcomed into the party by BJP's Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay, the journalist-turned-political activist said, "There is indeed a new political discourse in this country and we must all be a part of it." (Kiran Bedi's 6 'P' Formula For Solving Delhi's Problems)

Ms Ilmi, who had unsuccessfully contested the Delhi Assembly poll last year said she wasn't interested in contesting the February 7 polls in the national capital. She was also defeated in May last year when she ran as the AAP candidate for Parliament from Ghaziabad near Delhi. (Old Tweets Against PM Modi Influenced by Media, Says Kiran Bedi)

 "I don't want to contest the elections and I think the party will respect my choice and not field me as a candidate," she said. (AAP Retweets Old Tweets by Kiran Bedi, Shazia Ilmi on PM Modi, BJP)

She met BJP president Amit Shah today at his residence earlier in the day before formally joining the party. (Want Direct Fight With Arvind Kejriwal, Says Kiran Bedi to NDTV)

Her former boss, Arvind Kejriwal, chief of the Aam Admi Party or AAP, told NDTV 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. (Arvind Kejriwal Hits Out At Kiran Bedi, Shazia Ilmi For Negative Politics Comments)

In a swipe at her, Mr Kejriwal had earlier re-tweeted a post from Ms Ilmi in 2013 in which she had declared, 'Hypocrisy, thy name is BJP'.

Ms Ilmi quit the AAP's National Executive in May last year alleging that Mr Kejriwal and his aides have little interest in democratic leadership. ('I was Very Impressed with PM Modi's Leadership Qualities,' Says Kiran Bedi: Highlights)

Delhi votes for its next government on February 7; results will be declared on February 10.