NEW DELHI: After the BJP annulled the party membership of Sabir Ali, the controversial former JD(U) leader on Saturday said he would file a defamation case against party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and challenged him for a debate.
Claiming he had a much larger support base than Naqvi, Ali said he was ready to go to any village in the country — even Naqvi’s — to prove that more Muslims or people will stand behind him than the BJP leader.
“I will file a defamation case against Naqvi. I am also ready to sit with him for a debate,” Ali told PTI.
“I am ready to go to his (Naqvi’s) village or even any village in the country. One would see how many people stand by him. I have people’s support. He (Naqvi) is fearing loss of support,” Ali said when asked why Naqvi was against him.
Naqvi had attacked Sabir Ali on Friday as “a friend of terrorist Yasin Bhatkal” and strongly opposed his entry into the party, terming it a “mistake” that needs to be rectified.
The BJP annulled Ali’s membership in less than 24 hours of his induction in its fold following intense opposition from within, particularly from Naqvi, and RSS.
BJP chief Rajnath Singh took the decision after taking note of the public comments made by some party leaders but asked them to raise matters concerning decisions within the party forum and not go public, following the open criticism by Naqvi and others of the decision to induct Ali.
Ali had earlier written to BJP general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan, also in charge of party affairs in Bihar, that in view of the allegations levelled against him his membership be kept on hold.
Ali said he will discuss his future course of action with everybody and would not like to comment on it now. He also declined to comment when asked whether he would look for other party options.