Former Aam Aadmi Party leader Shazia Ilmi joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, but said she is not keen on contesting the upcoming Delhi assembly elections.
"After being defeated in last assembly elections and subsequently in general elections, I don't want to fight this election. However, I will follow the party's instructions, but I want my party to respect my wish," said Ilmi, a long-time associate of AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal.
Earlier in the day, Ilmi met BJP President Amit Shah and its general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal and Delhi BJP President Satish Upadhayay, among others.
Hailing a new "political discourse" in the country, she said that it was time to go beyond the politics of identity. "There is indeed a new political discourse in the country; earlier politics was all about identity. It is time to create a new civil identity.”
"New blueprint of BJP stands for change and development. I was inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that's why I am joining BJP," she said.
Meanwhile, on the issue of alleged conversions carried out recently by some groups, Ilmi said she does not support "forced" conversions and that the BJP has nothing to do with the matter.
Ilmi joined the BJP a day after former Team Anna member and ex-Indian Police Service officer Kiran Bedi entered the ranks of the saffron outfit with the BJP saying that she will contest the February 7 assembly polls.
Image: Shazia Ilmi