Defensive BJP denies poll ticket to ex-BSP MLA
However, the BJP questioned the timing of the CBI raids on sacked BSP MLA Babu Singh Kushwaha in the NRHM scam.
New Delhi: The BJP has clarified that sacked BSP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha will not get a poll ticket for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections after he was raided in connection with the NRHM scam.
An embarrassed BJP claimed a Congress-BSP plot. "There is a deal between the BSP and the Congress. Rahul Gandhi and Digvijaya Singh are the leaders of the deal who are protecting the corrupt in the Central Government," BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Wednesday. Reacting to this, Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh said, "What is the deal Mr Naqvi is talking about? There is a deal between the BJP and the BSP. The BSP is only sacking the corrupt leaders after they looted the state for five years. The BSP should have filed a case against them."
Naqvi also questioned the timing of the raids conducted by the CBI, considering the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls were just around the corner.
Naqvi, however, remained on the defensive and said, "The BJP is not a platform to save the corrupt. We have given documents pertaining to various scams like the NRHM to the investigating agencies. We have also sought strong actions."
Sources say senior leader LK Advani was upset over Kushwaha's induction in the BJP since he had taken out a 40-day yatra against corruption.
A section within the BJP had been upset over his induction into the party. The party now says it won't support any corrupt leader. Embarrassed BJP leaders called the decision to induct Kushwaha a blunder.
UP BJP Working Committee member IP Singh said, "The decision to bring Kushwaha into the BJP was a blunder."
BJP leader Vijay Bahadur Pathak said, "The BJP will not support any corrupt person and we will let the law take its own course."
He, however, questioned, "Why did the CBI not act when Kushwaha was a part of the BSP? Why is it only acting after he joined the BJP?"
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided the residence of former family welfare minister of Uttar Pradesh Babu Singh Kushwaha in connection with the financial irregularities in the supply of medicines and medical equipment in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam on Wednesday.
Kushwaha, a former BSP MLA had joined the BJP on Tuesday.
The CBI also raided the premises of some officials and contractors in connection with the NRHM scam. The raids were being conducted at 60 places in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
Earlier on Tuesday, the CBI had filed FIRs pertaining to the scam. Kushwaha has been named as an accused in one of the five FIRs registered against the NRHM officials and private companies in Uttar Pradesh. BJP leader Kirit Somaya had complained to CBI about Kushwaha.
The charges against Kushwaha include those of criminal misconduct and misuse of office in implementing the NRHM scheme as the family welfare minister.
Babu Singh Kushwaha was a confidante of UP Chief Minister Mayawati. He enjoys clout amongst the Kushwaha community that adds to almost four per cent votes in UP.
He was in-charge of managing the BSP affairs and therefore, could be of crucial importance to the BSP's competitors.
Mayawati is known to have said that in case she was jailed, Kushwaha could be the acting Chief Minister.